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  • Writer's pictureZach

Basement Reconstruction Begins

We are finally starting to make some progress on the basement reconstruction after the flood. After putting in the big new sump pump system, we are more confident in rebuilding and making some investments to make the basement more functional for our family and our style. Most of the we've made so far has been actually taking more down rather than putting things back up.

Removing the Hallway Walls

The basement layout has been opened up now that we have removed the walls that divided the main room and created a hallway to the living area.

hallway wall to be removed

Once we determined the walls were not load bearing, taking them down was easy.

wall with drywall removed

The harder part was reframing a bulkhead around a vent pipe we found in the wall. Kiersten's amazing uncle has been playing "general contractor" on our project - he helped us finish our basement in our last house. Bet he was thinking he'd get off easy with this house when we bought the house with an already finished basement!

zach building bulkhead

While the walls weren't load bearing, they were masking one load bearing column so we will be keeping that.

two guys removing wall around column

Taking the walls out really opened up a LOT more space for us down here.

view of basement opened up without wall

Tearing Out the Rest of the Wet Bar

Once we determined we could remove the wall, that opened up the options for what we can do with the wet bar. Kiersten wants to add an island outside of the wet bar area so we decided to tear out the ha start fresh with all new cabinetry that are more modern and match.

wet bar area with all cabinetry removed

More Fireplace Demo

During the initial water clean-up, the crew removed the faux brick stickers and lower tile in front of the fireplace.

fireplace with surface half demo'd

After removing the wall, it allowed us to change furniture layout options, so we decided now was the time to demo the rest of the fireplace surface in order to move the TV up above the fireplace.

view of fireplace with half drywall removed

With that, we removed all surrounding tile, wood frame and mantle. We want to do a stone front and simple beam mantle so we took all drywall out down to the studs. This allowed us to run electrical up above the fireplace too for TV cord control.

view of fireplace with all drywall removed

Electrical Updates

The walls we removed had light switches, outlets and a plug-in for the central vacuum system (that we don't use) so by taking those down, we had to rewire new switches and outlets in.

Guy wiring new outlets

My father-in-law is also very handy with electrical work and joined the project to help us add and move a few outlets. We took out wired baseboard floor heaters that were a fire and safety risk with the kids.

Guy wiring new outlets.

And he clipped and organized a ton of wires from the surround sound system. These were always just hanging out of the wall like a crazy mess so we're tucking them into the wall to hide them away in case anyone ever does want to use those speakers some day. (unlikely to be us, but they'll be there just in case)

speaker wires tucked behind drywall

We now have the new sump pump and back up sump pump on separate breakers just in case one of the breakers would blow. If all of the power goes out it’s on a battery backup. All the little things to try and prevent another flood.

Guy wiring new breaker in electrical box

Next Up on the Rebuild List

The next steps will be replacing the lower insulation that was taken out due to being wet, and adding drywall around all the missing spots. We are trying to hire a plumber to help us with the bathroom and Kiersten is working out design plans for the bar area.


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we're kiersten and zach

Follow along with us each week as we work to make the very 2000s home we bought during the middle of a pandemic more “us.” We’ll share everything from quick fixes to more permanent changes, along with projects you can do in your own home. Zach will also share all his lawn and garden advice as he starts over on the yard.


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