Sunday, January 6, 2013

Remodel Blogging Weeks Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? Does Anybody Really Care?

After weeks of slow, somewhat invisible, incremental work,  some great strides are being taken.

First, the bathroom is nearly complete - some trim work, a few light fixtures and a mirror and it's soup - hell, its already poopable/bathable (all the stuff on the floor is in here due to sealing of the rest of the floor).

I finished most of the electrical trim - still outlet covers, 2 ceiling fans (or disco balls, I'm on the fence.) I'm quite proud, I think I've prepped for every contingency, save zombie apocalypse, where two egress windows and a stairwell do not allow for easy defense, and no escape at all.

I sealed the floor with deck sealer this morning - I have no water issues, and I've been told that resealing the concrete will help tremendously with humidity. Given that humidity was one of the initial demons attacking the  basement, along with a stupid footprint and pisspoor construction - fuck HGTV - I'm all about it. On Wednesday and Thursday I am pitting down the drycore subfloor, then after a three day work weekend I have a full week off.

Theory: Laminate flooring two days, move downstairs three days, squeeze in putting in the stair rail, then fish for two days.

We'll see - the fishing is totally optional and can disappear far too easily...



    Also, I would have done goofy things with light shelves and corners and stuff. It would have annoyed the framers and Sweetie would have been confused at best, but sometimes art must be served, you know?

  2. Not to be GoreCrow Zombie, but humidity through the floor is most likely a minor actor. Water, moisture, is looking for lower potential, but unlike electricity, water is looking to move toward gravity. If your basement has no water, it will move into it in its search for the lowest point.

    There are some conditions where water will move up through floors; but mainly these are when you have built a basement below a water table.

    as long as you haven't done a very special episode like that, you really have little worry about water coming up through the floor.

    However: if you have septic back up situations, you may have shit coming up through your drains. This is usually the fault of your septic systems, not exterior soil moisture.

    So, with all the preceding, and with no on-site inspection (but knowing a little bit about how post-war houses are built) here's my (completely liability free) analysis:

    Yes, you will have humidity problems. You will continue to have humidity problems until you excavate and backplaster, and insulate the foundation walls. Water and moisture vapor will work their way into the basement space; and if you put a dehumidifier in there, it will only create more of a negative pressure, encouraging vapor migration through the basement walls.

    Good construction, as your photos show, will help a lot. And, depending on the soil conditions of your house, you might be likely to be OK with what you have built.

    If you are able, it would be very good to see if you can provide some kind of additonal ventilation, mechanical or through vent windows, that will help to pull the inevitable moisture-laden air out of your new living space.

  3. Dood. Don't let me piss on your remodeling. From your postings, I figure you had quality work done throughout (except for the electrical) but I am kind of being Obnoxious Internet Smart Guy on the project.

    Look, Our hosue is 108 years old, Our basement is unable to sustain that kind of remodel; hell last year we had to spend 10 grand to rebuild one wall.

    So yeah, I am jealous, no doubt. but as a building professional more or less, I just want to kind of let you know how I would look at it....

  4. But, dood, we need a bright wall up in that place.

    Also, a SHITLOAD of FIRST robotics LED lamps in those fixtures...

    Except for the stairwell. Dimmability (? Don't judge me.) is important.

    sometimes art must be served, you know?
    What I did do is a number of switched outlets for display cases - Sweetie collects liquor miniatures, several hundred from around the world at this point, and there are gonna be glass displays, some special lighting in the bar ares, other t'ings.

    Re: Water/Moisture
    Never had standing water down there, (which is a miracle since old photos of the area show it to be a seepage pond at least part of the year), but did not think about humidity acting like water, seeking lowest point or balancing out lower humidity from higher humidity area. That does present a wrinkle. I did leave, in the design, an option and room for a make-up air/mixing box unit, may have to look further, I work with several HVAC guys, get some advice. My big freakout regarding humidity in the basement is that I NEVER WANT TO GO THOUGH THIS AGAIN.

    Don't let me piss on your remodeling.
    Suggestions were welcome before mud and tape.

    Our hosue is 108 years old
    A lot of the older houses in the Cities are cut sandstone block foundations - friends of ours just went through the joy of a foundation repair. They feel your pain.

    But, dood, we need a bright wall up in that place.
    Also, a SHITLOAD of FIRST robotics LED lamps in those fixtures...


    SOMEONE didn't want to work last night...

  6. Suggestions were welcome before mud and tape.

    Perhaps I should have made suggestions before mud and tape.

  7. I like the Tetris-inspired tilework in the bathroom.

    Sweetie collects liquor miniatures

    I collect jumbo liquor bottles.

    1. what a coincidence! I EMPTY jumbo liquor bottles!

  8. I collect jumbo liquor bottles.

    As do I, but without as much variety - Canadian Whisky, Irish Whiskey, Scotch.

  9. SOMEONE didn't want to work last night...

    Code analyses make me cranky.

    1. Ooof. Reading 'em, writing 'em?

      My branez hurt for you.

    2. Reading them, writing analysis for an existing building to which we are adding four stories. Plan Submission is next Monday.

  10. Hmpf. Have ANOTHER code review scheduled for tomorrow and Friday, due on Tuesday. SO TIRESOME.

    However, it will pay for a new computer devil-box, so Forward!

  11. Beats a life of frivolity and leisure.

  12. Spent all day yesterday putting in sub-floor, have 4 hrs or so left today, then maybe tackle some laminate. I am certain we'll be happy about the whole floor thing, but I can't feel my eyebrows, and I am now considering spraypaint and fuck it.

  13. If you still have eyebrows, you need to go back to flame-intensive processes.


    cough cough yech.

    I gotta do FIRST robotics tomorrow, then dope myself up on Nyquil, so the game is going to look like a hallucination to me.

    An hallucination?