TGBR Days 4-I Lost Count – It’s Empty!

or, The Employees at the Dump Know Us by Name
or maybe, We Have Stocked Goodwill for the Next Five Years
or even, My Boogers are Black – Extended Edition

As we progress further into The Great Basement Renovation, all of the above are true.  Canadian Bacon and I have put in some serious hours down there since our last post.  I don’t know why I haven’t made a new post concerning these adventures – oh wait, yes I do.  It’s because every spare moment of my life has been sunk into this basement.  That’s not really over-exaggerating, guys.  I’m over at Meemaw’s at 9 and not home until 7, then it’s straight to dinner and raiding and then sleep and repeat.  This past month, my life has been wholly consumed by the following:

  1. Work in the basement, including clean out, demo and prep like dryloking the walls, meeting with contractors, shopping Lowes/Home Depot, and selling shit on Craigslist.
  2. Take Meemaw and Sugarbandit to their doctor’s appointments, out to eat, and shopping.  Includes misc errand running like property tax paying.
  3. Apply to grad schools.
  4. Run Unpossible, which means finishing out the last tier of raiding in the US Top 300/server 3rd, and starting off this new tier solidly.

I started to write a whole section here about meeting with contractors, but it got too verbose and I determined it deserves its own post.  So stay tuned for that one.  I know you guys are really here to look at before-and-after pictures anyway, so let’s see what I’ve got for you.

Pictures from the front right of the basement. A pile of shit in the middle, the area under the windows as we begin to excavate, and me standing in front of the windows looking straight back at the rest of the hell that awaits. All of these are in progress.
The front left of the basement – the top two are complete befores, and the bottom is in progress. Fish tank, doll, and ceramics hell.
And here’s the middle… roughly. Top left is total before, top right is when we managed to excavate a path, and the bottom is in progress… notice all the room to walk!
And dude… check this out! The middle of the basement right smack in the middle of cleaning! We have a floor!!!!!

Those pictures are pretty terrifying, huh?  Well, I know I spoiled the surprise for everyone with the “It’s Empty!” title, but… it is.  Canadian Bacon and I busted our asses and, over the course of about a week, managed to empty the place out.  It’s been mostly empty for a week now as we’ve been parading people in and out to buy items Meemaw can stand to part with.  We’ve made over $400 by craigslisting things – some of her old ceramics, some of her non-heirloom antiques, and all of the fish tanks.

Speaking of fish tanks, there were nine at the final count, and one still had fish in them.  Meemaw said she “never really liked” the fish that were in there – someone had given her a few convict cichlids, and over the course of a summer they multiplied into something like five tanks.  They’ve died off slowly since then, and we condensed them down into one tank.  Then, as it got to the point where we needed to pull the tanks out to hose em off and sell em, I managed to find a pet store in town that accepts unwanted fish to adopt out.  Booyah!  The convicts are gone :)

We still have a few odds and ends that we’re selling on craigslist, like an upright freezer, the old kitchen bar you’ll see in these upcoming pictures, Sugarbandit’s desk, Meemaw’s ceramics bench, and the random stools we’re using for seating in the meantime.  Fortunately everything that’s still there is useful at the moment, be it for stashing renovation supplies or for resting our tired butts.

The front right.  This is our soon-to-be living room, with our full bath behind that door. Almost everything in this picture has been craigslisted. If it doesn’t sell, it’ll be Goodwilled (with the possible exception of the bar – we are discussing attaching it to the wall there between the windows/door, painting it white, putting a butcherblock top on it, and adding shelves above it to make a built-in media center.)
The front left. This will be our office/gaming area. Canadian Bacon and I are going to build a desk along the wall. Our current desk is slightly too small for the both of us, so we’re planning on expanding (and also putting some shelving in above, more than likely).
The back right. This will be our bedroom, and that area under the porch will be a natural closet/storm shelter. Since this picture, I’ve bleached the mildew that’s growing there on the wall and it looks a lot better.
Wow, you can actually see the stairs!  We’re hoping to score a fridge with water/ice dispenser to stash there, so we can keep our own drinks / smoothie makings / snacky things like yogurt downstairs and out of Meemaw’s already-stuffed fridge.  Those pipes there run up to the kitchen sink and her fridge, so it should be easy to tie in.
The middle, completely emptied other than Gran-Gran’s hutch, which we are in the process of moving upstairs. The area to the right will be our bedroom and the area to the left will have my pub table. I plan on using it for studying for grad school and doing paperwork and such.
And last but not least, HOLY SHIT WE HAVE STAIRS. Meemaw’s had these shut off for years because Optimus Purr-ime (her cat OP) can open the levered handle. His litterbox has sat on the other side, and before we converted him to a hooded box he’d spray and you can tell where the door is warped from the moisture.

We have a lot of things to do before we’re ready to start building.  We’ve already gotten a couple of gallons of oil-based Drylok and a respirator to use while we paint the cinderblock to waterproof it (the fumes are supposedly very dangerous).  I bleached/scrubbed the mildew yesterday, and after I’m done with this post we’re planning on going over there to get started with the Dryloking.  We’ve already demo’d out the pegboard over the ceramics bench and the shelves under the stairs.  We’ve removed all the socket and switch faceplates.  We need to extract the ceramics bench and do something with it.  I’m going to use that cement caulk on the cracks in the floor.  I’ve got to sand down the stairs.  Speaking of sanding, that area on the stairs where the cats sharpened their claws for years?  The sander needs to visit that too, then I need to skim coat it in prep for paint.  And that handrail is so nasty after 40 years of traffic, I’m going to take a magic eraser to it, too.

Soon enough Canadian Bacon’ll be putting in new outlets and rigging up our lights (we’ve already picked out our recessed LED can lighting!!), and I’m hoping that next week we can start framing and drywalling this main space!!

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