Part of the reason I decided to entirely tear out the existing "finished basement" was aesthetic: it was incredibly dated with an unpleasant drop ceiling and an unfortunate layout. I could have kept some parts of it however, if it hadn't been totally un-insulated. I can do SO MUCH BETTER than that.
In order to start the next stage of basement progress, framing up the new walls, I needed the plumbers to come back and move some old pipes out of my way. At the same time they replaced a bunch of aging equipment and re-located the water heater to make a more efficient pipe layout!
I had literally not had the full den and bathroom areas covered in subfloor for ONE DAY when intense overnight rains (and some bad drainage) scared the pants off me. Here's how I IDed the source of the water seepage and fixed it. Thanks rainstorm, I guess.
The old basement walls were built from the vinyl tile flooring straight up to the ceiling and attached to 2x2 furring strips that were bolted straight to the painted concrete walls. I want to improve the insulation of the basement and also the air circulation so that no mold will form in dead air cold spaces. First step: install a DriCore sub floor system.
Having taken a little break, it's time to get back to work. I had a little trouble positioning myself on the "what's next list" so I worked backwards:
Not all 2x4s are created equal and when you are taking on a construction project its important to start with a bunch of good ones. Life is hard enough without dealing with bowed, cupped, or twisted studs. I'm getting ready to start framing the new walls in the basement and I wanted to get the … Continue reading How to Choose the Right 2x4s for your DIY Wall Building Project
I spent the (spectacularly hot) week of my birthday pushing forward on the painting progress. Knowing I'd have someone around to spot me, I planned to do the high-up, platform work on the south gable. Here's what I've accomplished since the last time I checked in on the painting. To shake things up from the … Continue reading Exterior Progress: Nearly done with North and South Gable Ends
Saturday, I gave a lecture at the MREA Energy Fair in Custer, WI about the joy of working with my parents to design their timber frame, straw bale, passive solar house, Underhill, completed four years ago. Here's some of what I said.
I've spent the last two weeks struggling through the muggy heat to de-lead and prime the north and south walls of the house and prepping for my upcoming talk at the MREA Energy Fair but when I think about design, I've been thinking about concrete and wondering what I can make from it. Pavers? Planters? Benches? The … Continue reading And now I’m obsessed with concrete and want to use it everywhere
Cliff May was an artist: a saxophone player turned furniture designer who inspired a modern housing movement. Today I meditate on his 1946 style book, Western Ranch Houses.