Wall removed

Having a baby definitely makes it more difficult to do rehab, but bad habits are even worse. I can say with certainty that we haven’t made as much progress as we could have, to say nothing of how much progress I’d like to have made by now. Last night Sarah and I tackled the last remaining walls in the basement and vowed to get back into good habits of working on the house regularly. Without good habits this project will never get done.

Missing insulation

Any good session of demo in the house features the usual discoveries of obviously wrong work. In this case we found a couple of gems. Above is a prime example of how insulation was installed throughout the basement. Notice the cavity on the left has none whatsoever, and the cavity on the right has it kind of shoved in. I estimate about 40% of the walls had insulation and about 3% had it installed reasonably well.

Sarah demos

This blurry picture is of Sarah prying the wall off the back of the chimney. The rest of the wall came down as well. This is in what used to be the kitchen, and the other side of the wall is the utility room with the boiler and hot water heaters.

Hole in the chimney

Here’s what we found underneath: a gaping hole in the chimney. This may partly explain the ghastly fumes in the basement that cause us to always wear masks, even now that most of the mold is removed. We blocked it temporarily with a piece of patio block, but we’ll need to improve it to be safe. I was already concerned about carbon monoxide and particulates in the air down there, and this certainly doesn’t help.

We of course have more mess to clean up after our progress, but having a sense of accomplishment is important in trying to establish new habits. With some effort and diligence we’ll get into the rehab groove and it will become automatic.


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