Clearing out debris

Rob clearing out debris

We kept up work on the basement floor, but the more I used the concrete saw, the more I used the sledgehammer and rotary hammer. The saw was simply too slow and produced too much dust, even using water. I worked out a technique with the sledge where I could get a single crack running the length of the concrete, maybe a foot from the edge, then use the rotary hammer to split off chunks. It wasn’t perfect, but it made shorter work of the floor than the saw.

Quality floor

Quality floor

The concerns I had with using the sledge, namely the ceramic tiles and the clay sewer line, were misplaced. With some safety goggles and a few thwacks, the sledge makes quick work of the tile. The sewer line is buried deep enough that I’m not worried about cracking it, especially since a fair portion of the floor wound up being suspended a few inches over the dirt, leaving cavities beneath it (including an old rat nest and a whole section of bricks).

Breaking up the floor

Collin breaking up the floor

We got the dumpster delivered last Thursday morning, and Sunday Sarah’s parents, sister and brother-in-law, as well as her nephew Collin and two of his friends came out to help load all of the concrete into the dumpster. It was a long day and at one point we started getting concerned it wasn’t all going to fit in the dumpster, but ultimately we got everything we had broken up loaded. There’s just a section at the front left to finish that we’ve been working on this week and hope to wrap up this weekend.

Back of basement

Back of basement (also bricks from under the concrete floor)

We left a small section of floor at the back of the basement that has the washer, dryer, chest freezer, and hot water heater for the time being. We’ll have to remove that later, when we temporarily move out and the sewer and water main are replaced. In the mean time we’ll start excavating the plumbing and get some quotes on that work, and I can finish the masonry and lintels around the front bay windows and start installing the new windows.

A big thanks to Mike, Lee, Nicole, Rob, Collin, Dylan, and Dustin for all their help!

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