One area that’s needed some help is directly below the basement stairs. You can see what it looked like originally from this post, and it’s now nicely patched up.
Our goal was to prep some of the plywood we have downstairs, before cutting it up and placing it over the ” target=”_blank”>the basement insulation. One side (the side facing outward, towards the insulation) needed to get covered in paint.
Last night, Liz and I talked, and re-confirmed our plans to pick up work once more. So even though today is New Year’s Day, and most of the rest of the country is nursing a hangover… we decided to put in a few hours on the house.
Bob warned us that one of the biggest challenges in living in a house while you work on it is navigating all the stuff. You’re working where you live, and you need to move things out of the way, then back, and then out of the way again.
Given our busy week, Liz and I ended up deciding to work on Friday, after work. Which is one of the worst days to have a “House Day.” But… we desperately needed to put some time in.
With a full week ahead of us, Liz and I decided to dig in and spend a bit of time today working on the basement again. With Bob’s guidance and a practice run under our belt, we felt confident we could tackle a round ourselves.
On Friday, Bob and Julie headed in to Chicago to help us work on the basement. With the powerwashing complete, our next step was to skim sections of the basement walls that needed some concrete/repair. Here, Liz and Bob are checking out the requirements for each bag (1.25 gallons of water per bag).
New day, new power washer. Bob was kind enough to pick this guy up on his way over today.
We spent a good deal of the day getting prepped for work. But unfortunately, when all was said and done… the powerwasher had some issues. There was water coming through, but there was a leak somewhere that Bob couldn’t fix without taking the engine apart.
Friday night, Liz and I put in more time in the basement. We were looking to get some powerwashing done this weekend, which means we needed to clear the basementfloor and also get as much done as we could with the chimney.
Spent two hours last night, working in the basement. This second wall of bricks is coming down much faster, as there seem to be fewer “full” bricks, and fewer bricks overall. At a few points, I took to pounding out the bricks directly, versus chiseling the mortar, which helped speed things along.
Today, Julie and Bob stopped over to help us with the house. Outside, Julie and Liz were at work on the parkway. Inside, Bob was taking measurements and making plans while I was in the basement, continuing to work on removing bricks from the chimney.
I slowly discovered that hitting the chisel on an angle made things easier. As did brushing out all the debris before each set of blows. I also got to learn how to chisel away exposed mortar much faster… and to also use the chisel as a lever, to further loosen (and in some cases pry out) bricks.
It’s hard to see – but just inside each of the cut lines, there’s a small chisel mark. I added these per Bob’s instructions, on bricks that overlapped the cut line. As I understand it, these cuts help introduce a point of weakness prior to the cut line, to lessen the chance of the bricks breaking at a point past the cut line. Not a guarantee, but something to help minimize the chance of that happening.
I got to watch Bob start us off, in removing the intial bricks. And I’ve got some good instructions on how to best proceed with the removal. This looks to be another joint project that Liz and I will undertake, which hopefully we can get done in the coming week.