We officially began remodeling our basement on Saturday. Rachel and I removed the trim to all the paneling. Sunday I got ancy and removed the paneling and installed a new light fixture. What was waiting for us was shocking and interesting at the same time.
First surprise: Ants!
What you are seeing is not dirt, it’s ants. They must have been living behind the paneling for years. When I removed the corner pieces they just came flying out. We hosed them down with some mean stuff that we have. It was very surprising to me that they could live behind there without coming out. There isn’t much behind the wall except for wood, insulation and concrete blocks.
Second Surprise: Pepsi Bottle!
Behind the hollow wall that our utility room shares was this bottle. We’ve traced it down to being made between 1960 and 1967. The puzzling thing is that our house was built in 1974. Not being alive during this time, I’m not sure how long glass bottles stayed in circulation. My dad told me that it’s possible that this bottle was still in use during the construction of our home. We cleaned it up and will give it to my father-in-law the next time we see him. My dad collects these things, but I think it would be more special to Joe.
This is where my progress has ended as of now. I haven’t removed the insulation on the walls yet, but from what I can tell thus far it is in good shape. If there is no mold on it I will reuse it and add a vapor barrier.
We have split the downstairs into 2 seperate areas for remodeling purposes. This makes for 2 smaller jobs versus 1 bigger one, thus making it more manageable. I have some re-wiring work to do as our home was constructed “pre-cable.” It has plenty of flat antenna cable, but not RG6 (what is used for cable and satellite TV). I am also re-wiring all of our phone outlets, as right now they are shoddy at best. I had to re-wire them to make our DSL connection work.
Once all the backend work is done, I’m going to put the paneling back up. I’m hoping to save as much of this as possible, but much of it is rotted or has big holes in it from 30+ years of living. I’m going to call my “daughter’s mother’s step-dad” to put the trim back up. He’s a master carpenter – someone needed for some of the complex angles this has.
After that’s done twice, we will paint the paneling to lighten up the area. There is only 1 window for the entire downstairs and it can be a little creepy down there. Then onto the floor. The first step is repairing the surface. There was carpet in there originally, and after removal of the tack strips it has caused little chips to be removed. Shouldn’t be a hard problem to solve. Then onto the finish, we have been discussing 2 viable options, concrete stain or epoxy coating. I’m a fan of concrete stain, as it gives a very nice appearance. Rachel is a fan of epoxy coating as it’s a bit cheaper.
After all this is over I then have a bedroom to re-do. This bedroom is where I’m writing this right now. It has a shelving unit that was crudely attached which I’m removing. After repairing the drywall there isn’t much work to do except paint and a new closet door.
Those are the plans, but I’m sure there will be some bumps in the road. I’ll be writing as often as I can to document the first “real” remodel of our home. I can’t wait to see my Home Office / Man Cave become a reality!