Happy Holidays Readers! We have been busy with family and holiday fun but we still managed to use some of our extra vacation days to work on the basement. Jim and I both ended up having a snow day after my last post and we worked on the basement all day. We did almost all of the electrical that day. We installed recessed lights, all of the outlets, and light switches. We decided to make the recessed lights in the main room dimmer lights. That way if we are watching a movie or something, we can dim the lights and not have to turn them all the way off. We also moved the location of the light switch when you first enter the basement. Jim thought it was too far away from the entrance way (I didn’t notice…). We moved it over and now it is definitely in a great spot. We kept the lighting in the two rooms on two separate light switches but moved them to one central location. If you aren’t using the workout area of the basement, you don’t have to turn on those lights if you don’t want to. We had to rewire some of the circuits because the old wire did not reach to its new location. I had learned stuff about electrical in previous projects, but I feel like I really understand. I even did some of the electrical work in the laundry room last week while Jim was at work! I was pretty proud of myself.
It makes a huge difference having light in the basement! It is starting to feel a lot more like a real room.
In addition to electrical work, we have also finished framing most of the areas of the basement. This included framing the support beam, post, and vent. The wood frame needs to be there so we are able to screw the drywall into something. Jim planned out how it would all come together and his plan worked great. It was a little difficult to screw the frames in place and level but after a few tries, we got it. We also added 2 by 4’s in between the two frames to secure it and also so we can add drywall to it. The most annoying thing was that concrete around the base of the post was uneven and not in great shape. Therefore, when Jim tried to hammer a base piece of wood into the concrete with masonry nails, one side would go in and the other side would pop up. We had to get creative. We basically decided to make the vertical pieces a little longer than the needed to be so we could wedge the bottom piece into place. I was a little uneasy about it being secure, but it ended up being so secure that Jim used it to lift himself up from the floor. That wood isn’t going anywhere.
Another frame that needed to be done was the frame located near our giant crawl space. The original framing had to be taken down because we wanted to move the opening to the crawl space. We also decided to add an additional light switch to the light in the crawl space so it does not go on every time you turn on the laundry room light. We attached that to the new wall frame. The framing of this wall was a little challenging because of the limited space we had in the laundry room. There were also some obstacles (the dryer, the water heater, the radon expeller piping). Jim built some of the frame in the other room but most of it we had to build in place. In order to attach the top of the frame, I had to tilt the entire frame while Jim stood on a ladder to hammer/screw it in place. Everything worked out in the end and it looks great.
We also had to build and install the header of the new basement closet. This closet will be accessed through the laundry room and we relatively deep. The only complication in this header was a water pipe that runs through that area in the ceiling. Jim just created a little divot in the header so the pipe wouldn’t be disturbed.
We continued the fireblocking in the laundry room which was challenging due to all the wires and piping in that area. We discovered that fiberglass insulation works as fireblocking, so we got a few rolls and cut up the amount of pieces we needed. Jim was worried about not passing inspection based on the fireblocking, but we had it this morning and passed!
Before we know it, there will be drywall in the basement and it will feel like a real room again!
Happy New Year Everyone!