February 24, 2012

DIY-aholics Anonymous

I've heard people say that accepting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery...and if that is the case, then I am starting that journey!!!


HA HA HA...ok...sorry...

BB and I are working on finishing our basement. Ourselves. Paying cash. Needless to say, it is a slow process. It can sometimes test our relationship. It undoubtedly causes stress and anxiety.

However, I know that when we are done, we will love this basement as much as anyone should love a portion of their house...

FIL is a general contractor, and therefore knows about many things. He taught BB his skills, and BB took them to the next level. BB is very handy. BB is very skilled. He is very very good at what he does. He is, however, not always in line with what I am thinking when we embark upon a new project.

I tend to think through the project from start to finish, and while I may dream aloud, I want to know all the ins and outs, the steps we need to take, the materials we need, all the plans we should have in place, design schemes etc.

BB would much rather take what I say and just make it start happening.

As a result, I have a utility room that has no wallpaper, but no texture either. It is patched and primed, usable, but not finished. I have an attic access panel that is insulated, has molding to frame it, but that molding has never had the seams and nail holes filled, nor has it been painted. I have a deck that only has stairs down one side, and no railings. I have a ripped up area in my yard (a raised section behind a retaining wall built of flagstone that had a flagstone "patio" that was improperly constructed) with stacks of crumbling flagstone that is overgrown with Aspen suckers, lambs' ears and the like. I have a storage room that was framed and dry-walled, but never taped, with no blocking in the ceiling to keep the cats in (or out).

I've had that storage room for 4 years. BB built it when he was home on leave after Princess was born. The leave during which he was supposed to be taking care of Captain, and the housework while I recuperated from my C-Section.

2 years ago, he framed in the walls for the next "phase" of the basement - an area that was supposed to be an office for my Mary Kay business - wherein I'd have a desk, built-in storage and display, and still have room for a table and chairs at which to conduct meetings and appointments.

Over the last 2 years, we have purchased, at auction or garage sales, framing timbers, dry wall, insulation, wire for electrical outlets and lights, and 1500 board feet of unfinished Brazilian Cherry hardwood flooring. Along with that, we've also purchased a new fridge, a new range and a new microwave. Oh, and a trailer for camping!

Last night, was another online auction that included things like pre-hung doors, tile, hardwood flooring, faucets, sinks, vanities, complete kitchen cabinet sets, carpet, vinyl and much more. Before I knew what was happening, we were the new owners of 2 5' wide French Doors, and 200 sq ft of porcelain tile.

Oh, and last week, BB filed for our permit for the basement remodel (that word is a whole post on its own!), and I'm excited that we can move forward more aggressively from this point. Our City allows up to 180 days from permit issuance to any sort of inspection being done. Obviously, we have to follow the schedule of inspections and do them in the correct order, but knowing that you have up to 6 months to do the work before the first inspection is really nice! I do not intend it to be 6 months before we have our first inspection for framing, insulation and wiring...I am not sure I want to wait 6 weeks.

In this project, BB decided to put down an engineered sub-floor on our concrete slab floor. Yup, that's right, we're building a floor over a floor. It sounds crazy, but, I can already tell a difference in ambient air temperature down there. We put 2" thick rigid foam insulation on the concrete walls which will be covered by traditional pink fiberglass, then covered with the dry wall. On the floor, BB put 1" thick foam, overlaid with 5/8" thick OSB (a little different than plywood, but think along those lines). This gives us a "thermal break" and will allow us to put any sort of floor we want with no worries about moisture seeping through the concrete into our floor causing damage and health issues. It's the same with the walls - no worries about seepage causing rot and mold! However, it has now taken him 4 weeks to "put the puzzle together" of piecing and cutting the 4' x 8' sheets of material, and fasten them.

We're also taping and sealing all the joints in the exposed duct work, which means time spent with my head thrown as far back as it can go, on a stepladder, wrapping foil tape around joints, and painting sealant around the corners and filling gaps on all the spots...

I know these things are good - it will mean a more efficient heating and cooling system in our house, which will mean less money spent, which means lower energy bills and lower demand on our ecology to create that energy. It will increase the value of our home. A lot!

I'm just antsy to get something finished...we've got things that are so many stages of the project that I'm going a bit cuckoo about it all...

I've called in a friend of ours to finish the walls in my utility room, and will actually be having him do my powder room as well, which means that next week, I'll be stripping wallpaper and patching walls there too.

I'm going to pick out paint colors this weekend for the two rooms, so as to get BB on board with colors (note that I am not asking for his permission, but I do believe that it is our home and he gets a say in things of this nature), and will buy paint at the end of the week.

BB will be in CA the week of March 4th, so I'll be spending that week finally get the basement reorganized (I've been in "temp" status because I thought I was getting an office space, not a workout room, but more on that later) and things put away.

I'm doing a great purge to kick off my Spring Cleaning, and will be starting my veggie garden indoors as well.

I want all the indoor work to be done before April 1 so I can spend April and May staying ahead of the yardwork...

And now, I'm off to the bank to get money to pay for our auction wins...

I know it's saving us money to do it this way, but I just don't want to store tile for an indefinite time period until we have money to gut and re-do our master bath...

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