1st let me say I’m sorry for the delay in posting, as I was in Atlanta for the past week, looking for some new treasures to offer in our retail store. This is the first post on the basement – it is approached just like the rest of the house, structure first. I learned a long time ago that adding the pretty stuff before the underlying elements are corrected only adds to the cost of the project. So let’s highlight the problems of why we need to address the basement structure.
Bang you head!
Yep, like many basements built in the 1930’s, the basement stairs seem to be an afterthought. Steep angles, tall rises and narrow treads are used to try and gain headroom.
In this particular stair they still couldn’t quite make the headroom – so just hack out a floor joist – a double joist at that.
This is a view looking up the stairs at the back door. You can see at the top of this photo that the floor joist has been removed. It was done years ago – and is directly below my fancy new bath renovation previously posted. It’s amazing the floor remained flat. We’ll beef this up later.
Here’s a quick shot of some of the ‘before’ plumbing of the renovated bath. The home inspector said this was just ‘fine’. Yikes!
Here’s what you see when you walk down the stairs. In this photo I have replaced some of the ‘Fine’ plumbing. The cast iron pass through on the wall will be removed later – as will the sump pump that you could fall in at the bottom of the stairs.
Here’s the other side of the same room – there is another room to the right of this wall.
Now comes the reasoning part.
This is the typical entrance to these kinds of old houses. I know, as my current house was built in 1927 and has the exact same layout. You enter through the back door onto a landing that allows you to go straight down the stairs through a door to the basement, or turn right and go up three stairs to the kitchen. Simple and effective – except for that basement headroom issue.
So here you can see some of my freestylin’ handiwork. I patched up that plaster wall, removed the wallpaper and put up a new drywall ceiling – sweet! All I need is a little paint and I’m good to…er, well – I was just not feeling the right vibe. I wanted something a little more welcoming when you entered the house from the back door – which we would do nearly 100% of the time.
So let’s get out the hammer and trash cans and make a mess! I just can’t help myself.
So a few minutes later all my wallpaper removal and patching efforts bites the plaster dust. I warned you I was obsessive.
So at this point I had made up my mind that I was adding an entrance – sort of a mudroom. Not big, but big enough to allow me to remove the landing at the back door to allow three more feet of stair run to the basement to get some needed headroom. Of course I have no drawings, no plan – that would be cheating, wouldn’t you say? Oh, just rip it out now and worry about the plan later – that’s my motto.
Of course, this makes another mess. The walls are filled with blown-in insulation too.
So this will be the opening I’ll create in the exterior wall for the new mudroom entrance.
Looks like I have some doodling to do this evening.