Sunday, January 25, 2015

2015 - The Year of the House (and WW Week 12)

Alrighty then . . .

On Monday, I pulled the trigger on the first phase of work in my home - work that has needed to be done for pretty much since I moved here 11 years ago.

I've known from the beginning that my home had "water issues" in the basement, but my late mom was so enamored of the house that we went forward.  Two days before we closed, we did the final walk through and there was water in the crawl space.  While we were still in the house, our realtor called the seller's realtor, and the seller's realtor called the seller . . . and because the seller had left her phone and answering machine in the empty house (and we were still there), we heard the message, which was along the lines of, "We're going to have to address the water issues in your basement."

The seller absolutely knew about the problems . . . and I know that I could have sued her . . . but I found out that not long after the closing she fell over in a Walgreens.  She'd had a massive stroke and was in a nursing home.  It seemed to me to be the worst possible karma to sue a disabled woman, so I soldiered on and did what I could to alleviate the issues.  It was a pretty constant battle and it cost a lot of money.

It's going to cost even more now.  I'm getting what is called an interior drain tile put in my basement.  Back in the early 1960s when my home was built, they put in a drain tile around the foundation about 2 or three feet below the surface.  That's still there, but it does nothing for the water under the house.  I mean under the slab and under the footings.  There is water down there and the pressure of it pushing up against the slab has caused the slab to crack, and things still leak from time to time, but worse, it had made the entire house unstable, so it's still experiencing "settling" cracks when it's more than 50 years old.

I'd been told that to make the basement completely dry, I needed this interior drain tile.  It costs an obscene amount of money.  Still, once it's done (and it's guaranteed), my basement will never be wet again - in fact, I will be able to finish my basement should I want to, and the house will be stable again.

I am only the second owner of this house.  The seller was the original owner - and unfortunately, her husband had died about 16 years before I and my late mom bought the house.  The concept of preventive maintenance died along with him.

Again, I've done the best I could over the years, but it's time for some major things to be done.  I want to do the work that needs to be done - and I want to make the house as energy efficient as I can - and I'm not interested in replacing the windows.

I met with a contractor on Sunday and Phase I starts on Thursday.

Here's what Phase I entails:

An interior drain tile in the basement.
New glass block windows in the basement
A new exit door in the basement
A new path for kitchen and washer water to meet up with the main sanitary sewer line in the basement
A new pit and sump pump with a battery backup, in the basement
Foam insulation where the foundation and the walls meet (apparently one of the worst spots for air leaks and drafts.

Top off the insulation
Fix a former exterior wall that is now an interior wall - it's showing signs of condensation and possible mold.  This wall is now the West upper wall of my Sunroom.

Main Floor:
All windows and the front door to have their trim removed and foam insulation blown in all the way around to property seal any holes or air leaks.
Some reglazing of window panes, and they will make sure that all the windows (which are double hung) all open and close properly and easily.
A few ceiling fans replaced and everything switched over to LED lights (most every light in my home is on a dimmer, so this is slightly more complicated than I originally anticipated).

Yeah - it's a lot, and really, all I wanted was a new bathroom and a partial kitchen remodel  :-D  But the contractor said to make my list - and I did.  I put everything on it, and you do have to keep up with stuff - so I'm doing that.  These major things have been put off for some time, and now, as my cousin, ME says, "it's physical plant stuff.  You have to take care of the physical plant."

Ah, the joys of being a homeowner . . .

What this also means is that everything that's not mine has to be gotten out of the basement.  My stuff has to get moved over to the alcove.  The alcove was pretty much empty.  After my first big push last weekend, here's how things looked in the alcove:

 A lot of my stuff was already in boxes down there - like Christmas and Thanksgiving/Halloween stuff.  And you know, they quit making those boxes - I loved them  :-D  Story of my life . . .  I have some more regular boxes that I can put things in. 

I also have a tool cupboard that I need to go through today - and two tool boxes.  I only need one tool box.  I believe that I will have quite a nice donation to make to the Habitat Restore - they will take things like that.

Here's the other side of the alcove:

Once I had this preliminary stuff done, my cousins got the call to come and get their stuff out of my basement . . .  All that stuff on the left side belongs to ME, and all that stuff down at the end belongs to my other cousin, S.

Thankfully, they have all gotten their stuff out as of yesterday.  I, however, still have a few things to work on. Like this . . .

 This is not quite as bad as it looks - the plants are all now upstairs, and the smaller 2x2 stand behind the 2x4 stand is now cleaned up and is up in my guest room.  All the plants are out of the basement.  I'm trying to sell the 2x4 stand, but it's cleaned up and all the stuff is off of it.  The potting bench is is process, and my workout equipment all has wheels (thank God).

I got the call that the contractor wants to get preliminary stuff started on Thursday, so I'm bring up more and more bags to go to the Second Chance Shop - I can't get there until Saturday, so the stuff will rest in my living room until then. 

 So, I'm going to have some breakfast, and head back down to the basement.  I'm glad the weather isn't great - I don't mind being down there when it's cruddy outside.

Here's the WW Update - I had a minor binge on Friday night - it could have been worse.  I was hungry - and I was hungry because I was eating a LOT of sugar last week, which means I wasn't eating enough of the food that actually has good nutrition in it.  That means my body was still hungry because it didn't get enough healthy food last week.  Going to see what I can do about that this week.  I'm grateful to have dropped the .2 I picked up last week.  I'm thinking pretty hard about what I said at the very beginning - when I work the program, the program works for me.  If I get messed up it's because I'm trying to customize and use my WPs for junk.  A little bit of junk never hurt anyway, but I need to follow the Good Health Guidelines.  Long story short - I need to get back to eating more fruit and veg.  But for now, I need to get back down in that basement and finish up down there today.
Here's the Check In:

Weight: -0.2
Daily Points:  31
Weekly Points:  49 (ate 73)
Activity Points:  Earned 6 (ate 6)


candy said...

Good luck on all the repairs and cleaning. Your house is lovely.

A :-) said...

Thanks Candy :-) The basement will be a lot better once this work is done :-)

Gregg Hogan said...

Once the renovation mood sets in, there are truly a lot of idea you can come up with. Just like what you did in your basement. So how's it going now? I guess everything's been settled, and the leaks were fixed as well. I'm sure that it's looking good now. I hope you can share some photos of it too. :-)

Gregg Hogan @ American Basement Solutions

Rolando Glover said...
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