Saturday, October 25, 2014

Cleaning out the basement.

Last few weeks have been consumed sorting things in the basement. I deleted about 16 old fluorescent lights and associated wiring and replaced them with regular screw in fixtures giving us the option of using regular incandescent bulbs or the new CFL pigtail bulbs.
All on one circuit and controlled by one switch at the top of the stairs.
The old ones, there were these hideous things, each one on a separate switch and all piggybacked off different circuits.
Ran new wires and sorted the tangle previously there so that now each wire is easily traceable.
Labeled wires so they are easily identifiable.
No more confusion.
Even junction boxes are labeled
And best of all the breakers in the box are now clearly marked.
And the basement is nice and bright now.
No more dark corners.
I pulled out the old crumpled fiberglass insulation on the inside of the rim joists and replaced it all with new 2 inch closed cell foam.
  I still need to hit the gaps with some spray in foam.
Took four pickup truck loads of accumulated junk and old books to Goodwill . . .
. . . and made a whole lot of space.
Organized the book shelves . . . I still need to sort out what to do with the old records
Today I took 30 years worth of AOPA Pilot and Seakayer magazine subscriptions to recycling.
While the squirrels had a party outside
Eating the sunflowers I had jammed in the fence for them.
I even made a nice yellow tomato, cilantro sauce dressing and chicken pizza this week.


  1. I've come to the conclusion that I don't like cilantro, so I don't want your recipe! lol

    1. Well that's a shame, you don't know what you are missing LOL

  2. can you come and play in my basement next? you sure have been busy!

  3. Replies
    1. Occasionally Doug, seems I get by with a lot less sleep the older I get.

  4. You are a man of many talents. The basement looks outstanding now. My basement is finished out, but I was able to keep one quarter of it configured as a supply room. Doesn't look as nice as yours does though.

    1. Hey Harry, you'd be amazed what a simple coat of bright paint does for concrete basement walls. When we first bought it it was your usual dingy concrete. Very dingy! Before we moved in and filled it with all our junk I painted out the walls tan, mostly to cover 75 years of grime and then painted the floor light blue. Then mixed the left overs of the blue and tan and what ever else I had on hand and got the green to paint the oil tank, stairs and the rusty lolly columns. A cheap stair runner from Homedepot and some old retired cheap rugs do the rest. Sorting out the wiring and lights had been on my list for a long time. It was simply scary, and I was perpetually trying to understand what was going on. So as I needed to sort out the upstairs and wanted to delete those hideous fluorescent lights as the ballasts were getting quite old and I did not want to risk a fire, there was nothing else but to dig in and start deleting 75 years the monkey rigged wiring.

  5. Now I know why, I live a back to basic lifestyle, lol. That's a lot of wiring, phew! The pizza looks good. Do you deliver, lol?

    1. Hi John, nothing wrong with electrons so long as you keep the wires sorted. You kind of need them to make the washing machine, furnace and fridge work. Around these parts a prerequisite to staying married. LOL Around here we also have something called a codes enforcement officer (payed with my taxes, thank you very much) all for the privilege of giving you permission to live in your own house. Permission he won't grant unless there are windows that meet his liking and wiring that connects you to the grid. Yes one day we will be leaving suburbia and moving where such absurdities are not mandated by law. For now we are slaves to the mortgage.

  6. Pizza looked good! I wish we had a basement here, it would be so handy, but not many houses in the uk have them. Too hard to keep dry.

    1. Kev; basements can be handy, specially for utility items like boilers, washing machines, extra freezers and storage, but as nature abhors a vacuum they inevitably get filled with the junk we all collect over time. If you don't make an outright effort to clean it out once every few years things can easily get out of hand. Around here the water table outside can at times be about 4 feet up form floor level in the basement. And at run-off in spring I have 25 gallons a minute coming in the sump. So moisture is an issue. The Lolly columns that support the main carrying timber for the first floor are a steel pipe filled with concrete. This is set on footings bellow the poured floor in the basement. Consequently they wick up water internally and are now starting to rust out from the inside out at the 4 foot mark up from the floor. They are still structurally but I will be needing to replace them in the near future.