Its been quite the busy summer. One wedding down, one to go. Some new projects are gearing up for the fall at LocustPointRowhouse. My shower door arrived on Monday via freight to my parents house in the county. For those of you who don’t remember it looks like this:
There is more prep involved then usual due to an error my Dad and I made when we initially installed the shower pan. I need to build a 3-4″ step for the door to sit on. When we put the pan in initially I think I was considering a different type of door…or we just didn’t know what we were doing. First bathroom from scratch so I guess there was bound to be something. Needless to say I think I will build the step out of 2×4′s, cover it with backer board, set the marble threshold on top, tile the front, grout and caulk, THEN install the door. Ideally I’d like the step to be one row of subway tile high. Thankfully I still have plenty of tile and grout left.
On the monthly problem related front, I have been doing alot of work in the basement to get it cleaned up in preparation from some water proofing/sealing work I hope to do before winter. Hurricane Irene and the remnants of Lee that made their way through the Baltimore area dumping 10+ inches of rain exposed some areas of concern in the basement. I hope to patch and seal the front and rear walls and also flash patch the floor to fix all of the un-even damaged areas on the 130+ year old floor.
Earlier this week I spent some time with my favorite friend the sawzall cutting up some remaining pieces of the ancient workbench that were remaining at the front of the basement. As usual, this led to some intriguing finds.
Here is one of the main pieces I had to cut up:
As I started to cut it up I found termite damage and coal…
Seems as though the house was definitely heated by coal at some point and that the work bench had been there just as long. I have some more info on the coal heat that I will post later. The termite damage didn’t really shock me because during my home inspection they found some over the window headers that was replaced before closing. The damage I found in the wood I was cutting was very old but I can imagine had I not known 2 yrs ago the house had at one point had some issues, I may have been more alarmed.
Sorry for the horrible picture quality, my camera was MIA so these are from my phone and there is plenty of dust in the air. Renovating a rowhouse is like a game of dominoes. Once I knocked that first one over on August 1, 2009, it has just kept going. Clearing away the area at the front of the basement led me to yet another intersting discovery. There are two lines going into my gas meter…
I know I am puzzled too. One seemingly comes through my neighbor’s wall, while the other comes up from the base of the front wall. Both lines meet at a T and go into the meter. Certainly the first thing that went through my mind was “Oh my God, what if I am paying for my neighbor’s gas consumption?” I have written BGE 3x and received no response to date. Granted I know the majority of the cause of my astronomical BGE bills is the electric consumption by my 1960′s Montgomery Ward AC unit, but that’s another story all together.
While I would love for the basement to be a finished living space, the reality is it probably is not worth investing significant amounts of money into it. The ceiling height is barely 6′, so without digging it out, its a nice storage area. I would however like it to be clean, dry, and organized. I am contemplating tiling most if not all of the floor while insulating the front and rear walls. As of now your feet turn black if you dare go down there with bare feet. It would be nice to be able to walk to the laundry room or go to get Huey’s food without having to put shoes on. In the mean time I am focused on one thing, getting the trash out and to the dump. After that I can patch and level the floor and seal the walls.
The pit (or Halloway hole as Kyle refers to it) is finally cleaned out, revealing the original furnace base. I will follow this post up with more on that and more on the basement. I hope that as the cooler weather continues to approach the projects will pick up around here so I can continue to post.