Archive for the 'House' Category

Make it burn (Townhouse #13)

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Once the floors were in I could start building the crowning jewel of the basement – the fireplace! We bought this fireplace insert from Amazon because it was the most highly rated. I had wanted to direct-plumb a real (but ventless) gas fireplace, but ventless fireplaces are super expensive. Plus, gas makes me nervous – […]

Cover that concrete (Townhouse #12)

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

With framing and drywall up and the sticky insulation filling the walls all taken care of, it was safe to lay down my pretty vinyl floors. But because the concrete was still so uneven, and because the contractors had done such a bad job adhering it to the original concrete that it was already cracking in places, I […]

Warmth in the walls (Townhouse #11)

Sunday, January 13th, 2019

I had my first adventures with foam insulation! The walls downstairs were built of regular old drywall right against the original stone walls. No vapor barrier, no insulation, not even using all metal studs. Can anybody guess what damp, clammy stone walls and untreated wood and cardboard leads to? Mold. Yum. Luckily, it was done […]

No more falling off the stairs (Townhouse #10)

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

A railing, ladies and gentlemen, we have a railing! Came in late one night to show my parents around and look what I found! Jason The Railing Guy had been busy. Because of the complicated angles and terminations, I had hired someone to do this project for me. I’m so glad I did. Jason’s work is beautiful. […]

Framed and drywalled all in one (Townhouse #9)

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

I got the remainder of the basement framed in just two days! That’s gotta be some kind of record for me. Here it is 3/4 done: The reflective bubble wrap behind the wall is not only insulating but also acting as a vapor/moisture barrier for the stone wall. I have it running all the way up, under the air […]

Busted (Townhouse #8)

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

Oh, the concrete debacle. If I knew then what I knew now… I had been going to do this part of the project all by myself originally, but I decided to hire a professional because: I was nervous that I’d do it wrong. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to carry that many bags of concrete. I’d never used […]

Happy birthday? (Townhouse #7)

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Concrete to level the floors came in last week… the day before my birthday! I was so excited. Dreams of having the floor puddled, perfectly level and ready to roll with my gorgeous vinyl plank floors (which are notoriously picky about the flatness of the surface they’re applied to). I figured they’d flood the floor and […]

Progress upstairs! (Townhouse #6)

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

Things are happening upstairs too – I’m really impressed with the contractor I hired for that job. So nice when people exceed your expectations. The plans on paper: Are now becoming real: Wow! Fridge moved, wall gone, new bathroom framed out perfectly! He remembered my request for a pocket door, too. The only thing I’m […]

More walls, more room (Townhouse #5)

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

Ever since I realized that I couldn’t excavate the whole basement and that I’d have to cut the family room off right at the back of the stairs, I’d been struggling with unsatisfaction with the resulting size of the room. But I hadn’t wanted to move the bedroom wall to enlarge it because I still […]

Let there be light (Townhouse #4)

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

The first thing I had to do, if we were going to take the basement from Dank Cave Hole to Welcoming Family Room, was make sure it enjoyed as much natural light and air as possible. Begone, door! After I took off the door, I ripped out most of the framing. I moved it farther over […]