Friday, October 22, 2004

Day Three

Day Three. It was only a few months ago that we were thinking about finishing the basement ourselves. I remember when I first met Tammy and how impressed I was that she refinished her own counter tops in her townhome. She's never been one to shy away from projects like that. It was around that same time that she also bought a few pieces of furniture at a garage sale and reupholstered them. I figured that between the two of us we could cobble together a basement project we'd be happy with. Maybe not. After watching Dan and John work their magic the last few days and realizing early on that they think on a much different level than I could ever hope to in matters such as these, I'm glad we've got them doing the job for us.

They set about pouring concrete right away this morning. The bathroom and sauna plumbing was put in place yesterday and today it was cemented. They also dug out the spot for the sump basket and installed it. It looked like it was a bit of a struggle to get it in place but they did it. One of the major obstacles of the entire project is to remove the post which sits in the middle of everything once you enter the basement. This is the sort of thing which I'd never imagine taking on if I were doing the work. Dan figured it could be done and brought an engineer in the confirm his belief. To do this it will be necessary to remove the two section overhead beam which the post supports and replace it with one continuous 24 foot laminated beam. Have a look...the kind people at Menards (not the orange store) dropped these off this morning. Now all we had to do was find a way to get them in the basement where we could put them to use. I say 'we' because it was at this point where I volunteered my services as it looked like they could use me. There were three of them and we took each one around to the side of the house and lowered them through the egress window into the basement. They're heavy buggers coming in at somewhere around 200lbs each. After a few breaks to catch our breath we successfully got them situated in the basement.

The last job of the day was to remove the broken-up concrete from the basement and take it to the dump. Once the laminated beams are in place Dan figures most of the grunt work will be done. John is looking forward to beginning the framing work maybe sometime next week. One thing which struck me early on is how they both have to know not just one or two aspects of construction but just about all of them. From breaking up concrete to understanding the engineering which goes into keeping a home sound and everything in between. I'm just along for the ride and hoping to learn a bit along the way.

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