Our current big project is the basement. We brought in two companies to give us quotes on the repairs to the structural columns. Both of them said they could give us a quote, but it would be more accurate if we removed the drywall so they could see what was hiding underneath. The support beam in particular was mostly obscured, and knowing if we need to replace it or not is rather pivotal. As a result, we started demolition of the basement. Initially we were only going to remove the drywall from the central wall that runs in line with the beam that supports the first floor, but with all of the mold and the desire to know if we have any foundation issues, we opted to just gut the whole thing now instead of waiting.

Basement Hallway

If you haven’t seen the basement, allow me to share the “Hostel” styling and the not-at-all-creepy vibe it gives off. The beam travels down the wall you see on the left of this picture, which looks toward the back of the house. Two of the three bedrooms down here didn’t have windows, and the tiles area on the right was part of the kitchen. Here’s a better shot of it.

Basement kitchen

I’m not sure what the people that lived in this apartment were paying per month, but I’m definitely sure it was too much. Just to round out the house of horrors, here’s one of the bathroom, or as I often called it, “the rape scene”.

Basement bathroom

Unfortunately, I have to take credit for the brown crud in the tub. I dumped out a bucket of water only to find it has a thick layer of sludgy sediment at the bottom. In any case, we started the basement demolition several weeks ago, and have been bagging up the drywall and throwing it out as we go. It’s a slow process since we’re wearing masks that make breathing a chore and have mostly been working on it a couple hours at a time after dinner during the week.

Basement hallway demo

Things are coming along, but there’s a lot left to do. The drywall along the North side has been removed, as well as from the center wall. We’ve made progress on the ceiling and are working around to the walls on the South side. So far we’ve been leaving most of the framing in place, especially from the center wall since it’s helping hold up the house. The columns are largely rotted out, so only the exterior decking 4x4s they incorporated into the wall are keeping things from sagging even worse.

Basement room demo

We found that the sill plate had completely rotted under the window, and that the rats had chewed through every single stud so they could travel through the walls. We’ll be bagging debris up tonight. Sarah’s been getting deals on contractor bags at Menards and with four garbage toters we can put out a fair amount per week. I’ll post again when it’s done so you can see the basement looking like a basement and not like the set from a horror movie.


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