The basement has been coming along very nicely. In fact, it’s very nearly done. I’ll try to get a picture posted (after I take one) tonight or tomorrow. The walls and ceiling are painted, the electrical is in, and the floor was laid last night. We even have an honest-to-goodness door between the finished an unfinished halves instead of saloon doors! It even has a cat door in it that the cats will hopefully figure out soon, as their litter box is on one side and their food another.
In fact, pretty much the only parts left to do are to get the trim laid around the floor, shroud the exposed water pipe in something metallic, paint the stairs and lay a carpet runner down the center of the stairs. It’s amazing to see how close we are, considering we started this project last July.
After that comes the really fun stuff: buying new stuff! We’ll be getting a new TV and blu-ray player to celebrate, and we’ll probably end up with new furniture as well, to replace the busted futon and equally busted recliner we’d been using before the renovation. Our theory is, we’ve just invested all this money and time in the basement: now let’s invest a little more to ensure it’s a space that gets used a LOT.
But home ownership hasn’t been all puppies and rainbows the last few days. Our house decided to spring several leaks this week. Namely, the toilet upstairs started leaking into the unfinished half of the basement, and the kitchen sink started leaking into the NEW finished half. Luckily, we caught and stopped the kitchen leak the day before they laid the new floor, but it made me VERY nervous.
Luckily, our contractor is a licensed plumber. He fixed the toilet for us today, and also fixed a leak that we’ve had on the tub for a couple of years but hadn’t bothered to fix (it was on the overflow, and Amanda and I prefer showering to baths anyway, so we just ignored it). He also started on the kitchen sink, but isn’t going to have time to finish it until Saturday. And while he’s working on that Saturday, we’re also going to talk to him about replacing and/or moving the faucet on the outside of house. The one that started falling apart on me last Sunday.
Amanda and I made a trip to Menards and Lowes this weekend and racked up a good $650 in new stuff for the yard. This resulted in tons of yard-related work, which means my hands are cut all to hell, but the yard is a much prettier and tidier place now.
New lawnmower to replace the one I had to short out with a paperclip to turn off. I put it together Saturday and mowed the lawn for the first time this year. It handled the super-dense backyard turf like a champ!
New hedge trimmer so I can stop borrowing one four or five times a year. Five minutes after we got home, the back neighbor stopped by to see if we were going to trim our hedges soon. He’s worried about them interfering with his satellite dish, which he brilliantly put right next to our hedges at the edge of his property line. I did end up trimming Sunday, though probably not nearly as low as he’d like. There’s no point in a privacy hedge below eye level.
New grill! The old one had burned through its “diffuser plate” (in quotes because it was really a piece of bent scrap metal) which resulted in some mad uneven heating. Plus the grate had rusted through twice. So I spent a good three hours putting the grill together yesterday, and last night we celebrated with some delicious blue cheese flat-iron steaks and grilled pears. Nom.
New fencing for the back shade garden, which had become Mile’s favorite place to drag sticks and lay in the sun. The fence seems to do a great job keeping him out, and it’s thin enough it’s nearly invisible from the house. Win!
I also spent time this weekend working on the backyard faucet (I think we need a new one), cutting sucker trees out of the fence line, transplanting sod to a hole Miles dug this winter, and replacing loose bricks around our wood-burning stove in the basement. My hands are sore today, but I got a lot done!