When I left off at that last post, our plumber was at the house doing some pretty major work in the basement. In addition to putting our plumbing system back together (hello working toilets!), they were also rerouting copper supply lines all over the place to get them out of the stair and hallway spaces, and into the utility and storage areas as much as possible. Now that we’re installing an interior connection to the basement, we’re doing a light remodel of the space. The front portion of the basement (under the current living room) will be a nice rec / hobby room. The area under the current dining room will house the stair, a hallway and a decent sized storage room for items like holiday storage and camping items. The rear portion under the current kitchen will be a utility room, housing the new furnace and water heater, electric and alarm panels, etc.
Prior to installing the new furnace, M wanted to clean up the stone foundation wall and tuckpoint it. He removed all the loose mortar, and I followed up with a good cleaning.
Then he taught himself how to tuckpoint – and the results look great. The mortar was still wet in the photo below, and needed to be completely dry prior to waterproofing.
He also grouted the pockets where the new beams sit:
The mechanical contractors were at the house for at least a week. They installed the new furnace down here (progress shot below) and ran all new ductwork in the basement, reconnecting to the existing supply air grilles on the first floor (living room and dining room). The new furnaces are way more efficient, and also require more return air, so we had to increase the amount of return air connected to them.
To do this, we temporarily cut a hole at the base of this wall and put a cheap white grille on it. The return air will get worked into the final design of the dining room walls when we get to that part of the project.
The photo below was taken from the hole M cut on the first floor looking down into the basement. Sheet metal was there, waiting to become new ductwork.
Work was also happening on the third floor – we replaced that furnace as well. We moved E’s furniture out of the way to give the contractors as much space as possible, and told them to prioritize the work in here since E was heading home for break in a few days. They got it done just in time!
I was also using E’s desk area to work on my holiday cards, so I had to make sure to have everything stored carefully during the day.
This is the old unit, I don’t have any photos of the new one, but I’ll get some the next time we open up this area. M made a new floor as well that he installed once they demo’d the old furnace.
We had to increase the size of our two existing return air grilles, and add a third in E’s room. I sketched out a quick diagram one morning before I left.
All three of our contractors (Mech / Elec / Plumbing) have been great so far. November and December went a whole lot smoother because of this. I really liked the mechanical contractor’s floor protection. Oscar-worthy.
The rest of the photos are far less glamorous. There’s a lot more of these to come before we ever get to the snazzy new kitchen or beautiful outdoor gardens. This is going to stretch out for a long while – the better part of this year, but likely for a couple of years to the very end.
Bring your patience – it’s going to be awhile. But totally, totally worth it.