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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Home Improvement Projects

    I thought I'd start a topic where home owners can share their experience with home improvement projects. I hope there will be some in depth explanations complete with visual aids. I will begin by detailing my experience with replacing a basement wall and an abominable basement access renovation.

    The Problem:

    My dad is stressing the importance of gutters as we work toward completion of this project, but I stress the previous care-taker's lack of ingenuity in dealing with water infiltration through my south basement wall. They must have thought that the 100+ lb. concrete slabs they placed against a brick wall lacking reinforcement would solve their troubles. Instead, it merely ensured the wall's demise. This wall makes a couple of 90 degree turns as it becomes the south wall of the access/stair area of the basement (which used to be an outdoor entrance). Rather than extending the basement area to contain the new entrance when a porch was added to the property above this area, someone decided to simply place wooden stairs on top of the dirt slope where stairs poured in forms once rested. I eventually want to turn the outside walls comprising the corner of this area into load bearing walls when I replace the roof.

    The Solution:

    Remove a large number of bricks. Remove a good foot of the dirt wall responsible for pushing the brick wall to it's demise. Level the footing for the new wall. Remove dirt slope of stair/access area. Create a new footing for the wall to set on. Create a basement floor/footing for the access area. Rebuild wall with concrete blocks, re-rod, and concrete mixes (there will be a window set slightly below ground level with a window well). Rebuild stairs into basement.

    Where I'm at:

    The footing for the new wall has been laid, except for the footing/basement floor in the access/stair area. Dirt from the access/stair area must be removed along with remnants of brick walls for same.

    What's next:

    Wall separating living and dining room area to be removed. There is really a never ending list, but I can't get too far ahead of myself.

    I will post a few pictures of the project.

    I hope that others will share their experiences here as well.
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    Last edited by Jedi Clint; 07-24-2002 at 02:14 AM.
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  2. #2
    Down the access area. You must take a 90 degree turn to the left in order to enjoy the dirt slope .
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    Last edited by Jedi Clint; 07-24-2002 at 02:11 AM.
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  3. #3

  4. #4
    The big pile of dirt (there is another pile underneath the tarp seen in the previous picture).
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  5. #5
    Pile of bricks.....note it's size relation to the Geo Metro next to it. There will be more dirt and brick added to the piles before all is said and done.
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  6. #6
    That could be described as "my worst nightmare". We bought a real starter home when we moved out west in 00, it's all we could afford. Here's a list of everything we've done to it so far, in chronological order:

    Reseated the support posts the house sits on in proper cement; also added and replaced a few of the posts. Damage: $500.00

    Finished the fence in the backyard so it's enclosed. Damage: $800.00.

    Renovated the kitchen: Dishwasher installed, plumbing and everything, 600.00; New stacking washer and dryer added, plumbing and everything, 1000.00; painted all walls and cupboards, little money but much time; new floor laid, $600.00.

    Ripped out a major built in closet in the living room then had to pay to have the textured wall repaired: 400.00.

    New stairs and railing built: $600.00.

    New paint in living room: again cheap, but time consuming.

    New flooring in living room (laminate - looks great!) 1600 "parts and labor"

    New carpet laid all through the upstairs: 1700.

    Literally a fortune. At least now the inside looks great. I still have to do a few finishing jobs - puttying joints in trim, putting sealer on the floor boards that don't fit perfectly tight together, a few small paint touch ups in the kitchen.

    Then we can start on the outside..... There's something to be said for condo fees. Sorry I didn't offer much in the way of instruction, my wife is the project manager and Im usually only physical labour support staff.
    GOLDEN DEUCE AWARD WINNER & MABUCON ATTENDEE 2008

  7. #7
    Thank you for your contribution jjreason. You have 2 projects completed that I have yet to schedule. I would like to fence in my yard and add a dish-washer in the kithchen. It all depends on $$ though. My dad and I got 2 rows of concrete blocks laid for the south wall today. I have a friend coming to help me remove the stair/access area tomorrow night.......after a full day of block laying .
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  8. #8

    Thumbs up PROGRESS

    Six blocks up and ready for more + the access area has been cleared of unwanted dirt, and 3 blocks are in place for that area.
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  9. #9
    The blue hue I spoke of previously looks more green at 6 PM.
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  10. #10
    The access area is making me really happy as of late.
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