Sunday, September 2, 2012

Remodel Blogging - Week One

It was a dark and stormy night...

Nope. Cliche. Fart.

I guess the best way to start would be to restate, for the record, the First Law of paleo:
Anyone who does not know what they are doing, please stop now. Get advice, get help, read a book. Goddammit.
Take notes, this will come up again.

I took the week off to do the prep work, emptying the basement and such, and the electrical demo, and electrical separation of the basement from the ground floor. Grand plans were made, vast amounts of beer were laid into handy caches throughout the property, sandwich meat in a handy cache called the fridge. Stereo and iPod set up with maximum goodness and volume. Tools, scattered hither and yon from my last project, were sorted back into their ever-so-handy pouches and bags, dremel bits, sabre-saw bits, a vast array of electrical raw material, wire, boxes, a couple other neat widgets I wanted that I snuck into the budget. A storage pod was rented to hold whatever we could not hold inside the house. Friends and family warned that paleo was not going to be in a good mood, as when he is working, he's not happy unless he's not happy. Let's dance, muthers.

Emptying the basement was a little like Christmas - open thingy, find out what's inside, rejoice, mope, rinse, repeat. Storage pod, Goodwill, landfill. Sometimes regift. I had help from the bro-in-law for much of that process, and we did a good job with the pod, human Tetris* game. 

You may take note, that there remains room to store several children (which we don't have and were unable to rent), and it would do very well for such purpose. However, lacking an air/food/water port, it would have to be a short term thing, there are laws and some such.

The garage was somewhat less successful, but as a staging area/mini-home-improvement store, it'll do for now, can't wait to start using all that schtuff (imagine large German dude doing Xena scream whilst wearing several hundred pounds of tools. Or don't. Brain bleach is on the second shelf.) There is quite a bit of sorting to do of possessions, combining several households tends to create that, and with a driving event such as this, and an urge to simplify, now is the time.

Break for electric lemonade and cheap-ass cigar. 
Sweetie: "How was your drinkie?" 
paleo: "Damn, that was good. Triple the vodka please?"

Next morning.
After the cramming of the pod (new euphemism - FTW), the beginning destruction of the basement. Bro-in-law, although not a construction guy, was able to leap gleefully into teh maelstrom and rip down ceiling with abandon.

Multiple violations of the First Law of paleo were discovered. 

-The ceiling fixture with a switch box screwed to it to serve as a junction box.
-Power for the shed being served by a piece of interior romex, run through a crawl space, then buried a few inches down.
-The load leg for the kitchen disposal being routed through and wirenutted in the main panel.

Once maximum destruction was achieved, the job was all paleo's, as I had to figure out most of the existing wiring, mostly in greenfield, to ensure I could have the whole basement safely shut down. Had to do a few new runs, there was conduit mounted to the ceiling joists that had to be removed and replaced with romex, allowing us to gain a couple more precious inches of height - while the house is 1950's era, the basement floor to joists is only 7 ft. The bedroom ceiling fan is going to be a challenge, but I don't expect LeBron James to be in the market for a suburban rambler anyhow. 

Sweetie says she is 'spatially challenged', in that she can't look at a plan and visualize. She doesn't give herself enough credit, she is doing a ton of the design and legwork, but when she asks me to lay out lifesize models so she can see, I am happy to. At one point I had the full basement design in rope on the lawn, so she could walk through it. The rope showed up quite well on a zombie lawn. But going outside this week did not appeal to me because warm, so when she asked me to do the bathroom, I picked a similar space that's gonna be evaporated and used marking paint.

As of Saturday night, 8pm, as Sweetie returned home from a long day of terrorizing tile shops, home improvement stores, contractors, pets, stop signs, paleo crawled forth from his basement; resembling nothing so much as the eldritch horrors spoken of by Abdul Al-Hazred, the Mad Arab, whose Necronomicon has been the focus of much research and several kick-ass Bruce Campbell movies. With a battle croak, the breaking of under a dozen electrical codes, the minor twisting of one of the lesser known laws of physics, and obscenities new and glorious, he announced success to the world, until his wife told him to pipe the fuck down.

To be continued for a scheduled (we'll see) 9 weeks.

*Tetris, as you know, was developed by the Russians to train their cosmonauts how to waste away entire workweeks in front of a computer screen, and it remained the standard until Farmville. But, after this experiment, I WIN. TAKE THAT, YA COMMIE BUGGERS. W00t!! SUCK IT!


  1. that is way too clean to be a basement.

    While designing the deck and patio, Wife Sublime was the same way. we discussed every aspect of the design, and reasons, and how it was accommodating the things she wanted. When things were built, she was still surprised at how they came out.

    1. I'll get my week two post up tonight/tomorrow, but I have had the russian mob demoing the shit out of everything that moves or sits. Sweetie and I, now fully committed (whadda we gonna do, have them bring back the dumpster?), have strapped in...