cmonkey's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

@Riggerjack thanks for stopping by!

The platon will keep moisture from getting on the OSB (unless it floods, but we have never had a flooded basement). Armtec actually advertises it for this. The main reason for putting it down was to let the concrete breathe and block 'dampness' from getting to the OSB (although the sump takes care of it pretty well). I did quite a bit of research before deciding on it.

We have a french drain leading to the sump on the one side where a small trickle of rain would come in occasionally and it is covered by platon as well. All the 2x4s are treated so that should inhibit mold growth but even still our basement is much dryer now than it was before the sump/platon. I am pretty sure mold doesn't grow on concrete (maybe I'm wrong?), it needs an organic base on which to grow. We had tons of mold in all the stuff we ripped out but there was nothing on the concrete.

The sump basin does drain away once the hydrostatic pressure is relieved, it usually takes less than a day. It is then bone dry in the basin.

I'm also planning a second sump pump/basin in our garage which is 1 foot lower than (and connected to) our basement which will provide a bit more moisture protection.

I have pondered rigging up some ventilation for the space between the framing and the block foundation. Something like a small fan that sucks air in on one end and funnels it out on the other. Or maybe a bathroom fan of sorts rigged up in that space that just funnels air outside. Or maybe this would work! I like that channel, its actually where I first learned of platon.

Your comment about living in the plains is pretty accurate, we generally don't have much of a water problem as compared to the PNW. Since moving in our only problem time has been during really heavy rains in spring or summer.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

I linked to the channel in my post above but wanted to reiterate to anyone who might be doing rennovation work, John Heisz (I Build It Home) is a pretty fantastic DIYer. He has other channels as well and has made really neat stuff. I find him extremely motivating, watching his videos put me in a great mood and I always wanna start working on something afterwards. Not to mention that his house is very similar to mine when it comes to the work that needs doing (structural repairs, unfinished basement, completely gutting) and he's doing everything by himself with very few helpers.

He just put up a 6 part series on drywalling. I wish I had found it a month ago! He has excellent tips that I will be doing from now on.

His main channel which has all his neatest projects.

Riggerjack
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Riggerjack »

I glad I wasn't the first to think about water vapor, then. You won't have mold problems with concrete or pressure treated wood. I hope you won't have problems at all. If the leak is localized, I highly recommend a Simpson product called crack pak. It is a system for pressurized epoxy sealing cracks. My foundation wall is 8 inch reinforced concrete, with foundation drains, 2 coats of asphalt emulsion, backfilled with sand, and still we had a leak. Before we finished downstairs, we used the crackpak. Problem solved. It's a hundred bucks, and totally worth it.

Have you done anything to deal with water from the outside? As an example, in my Everett house, built in 1910, the gutters just drained at the base of the house. It is post and pier, we were cleaning up the crawl space, so I trenched around the perimeter, laid a french drain to drop the water table, and hard piped the gutters to dry wells. I know, it'd survived a hundred years as it was, but it could be better. No more puddles in the crawlspace. The most important lesson I learned in construction was to have a plan for water, and how to deal with it everywhere. It's good to know that is a local solution to a local problem.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Riggerjack wrote:Have you done anything to deal with water from the outside?
I've spent about 3 years working on the waterproofing, mostly outside. Do some work...wait for heavy rainstorm...make some corrections...wait for heavy rainstorm....etc...Without the inside work I finally got it corrected enough outside to get it down to a small puddle forming in one corner of the basement. It took forever because only a certain level of rain made it leak.

We put in a french drain outside as well and tapered the dirt around the house to slope away from house into the french drain. That took care of a majority of the surface water that came in. We live on a man-made flattened area dug into a hill so the rain comes rolling down the hill (and now down the french drain). We didn't do anything on the outside of the foundation though. I think that's the one thing that we could do that we didn't simply because of the work involved. I didn't think it worth it since we only had a little coming in at that point. We have had 3-4 inches at a time come down per storm and still not much came in.

I also have 30 foot pipes taking water away from the gutters. That was the first thing I did. Just that helped a ton!

Despite have some hairline cracks in our basement foundation we never did have hydrostatic pressure/flooding come in and I think its because the pressure relieved in the front of our garage. There is a pretty good sized crack out front and every time it rained like heck water would spurt out that crack and down the driveway for several days.

Thanks for all the input I appreciate the thoughts of others. :)

spoonman
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by spoonman »

I admire your guts, because that's what it takes to do serious DYI home improvements. I'm not sure if I could ever get any sleep knowing I might have introduced a waterleak somewhere.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Ha, yea some of it is guts. What helps me sleep at night is mostly knowledge of the what/where/how much in term of the leak. I wouldn't be finishing my basement if I thought it would flood.

We have taken a new direction with the basement, as hinted at above. Taking a break on the bathroom until we get the two main rooms completed (right down to the trim). I really hate leaving things hanging in a big project like this so last night I killed power to our bedroom and cut out all the wiring. The only unexpected casualty was the ceiling light in our second main floor bedroom. I am thinking it was wired after a bathroom outlet I cut out. Bad wiring design! We are only using it for storing a couple of bed sets we inherited.

Tonight I'm building blocking in the ceiling and will attempt some drywall. The DW has been lifting weights so thinking she can help lift. :P

Riggerjack
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Riggerjack »

The best part of rewiring your house is doing it in a way that makes sense to a homeowner, rather than using the design that uses the least wire. Having each room on its own circuit, means labeling is clear and actually knowing which breaker kills what.
BTW, don't forget to get the arc fault breakers for the bedrooms. That only made the code book in 2009...

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Riggerjack wrote:BTW, don't forget to get the arc fault breakers for the bedrooms. That only made the code book in 2009...
Interesting, did not know that. I'll look into replacing them, I already have some Square D QO tandems installed. Why only bedrooms? I looked and noticed they are not required in garages, laundries, bathrooms, kitchens and unfinished basements. Seems odds. They need to be in living rooms too?



A bit of an update, I ran into a snag in the guest bedroom. The joists on one side are noticeably higher than on the other side. Such are the joys of 70 year old homes. We did jack up the middle wall as far as we dared but it still didn't do the trick on the one end. Thankfully the wife's new craft room is all level.

So I had to fur out the joist to make them lower and level with the rest. I started Tuesday evening and finished tonight. Last night we had our horticulture club and so didn't do anything.

Furred out blocking.

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I cut strips from 2x4s and just screwed them up, effectively leveling the ceiling.

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We finished up tonight by getting a single drywall panel up (just the two of us!). It went really well. We put some red chalk on the light fixtures and the heating duct and tapped the drywall against it to mark where to cut. This method worked well, we'll be doing it going forward.

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spoonman
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by spoonman »

Since your home is 70 years old, have you had to worry much about the plumbing? Copper wasn't the thing back in the days.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

We had minimal copper plumbing, yes. We had galvanized steel piping which had really began to corrode due to really crappy well water. Like the electrical it was all hacked together....people put it in and then the next owners would make repairs/additions/subtractions. The electrical was far worst though, dozens of junction boxes all over the basement ceiling. There are still over a dozen. There was no logical layout at all to the piping. A DIY dream (or nightmare depending on your outlook). I ripped almost all of it out and put in copper piping. From here on out I'm doing pex lines as I just learned about them. We also had a new well put in and the water in much better, although I do need to work on the softening since its a bit different quality.

Same with all the natural gas lines, there were a lot of them. That was one of the first things I did was to take out unnecessary gas lines and fix a small leak. Then we had the gas turned off and I ripped everything out.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

The entire ceiling is up and the corners are taped. Friday evening we finished the drywall in the bedroom, yesterday we killed power the room above the craft room and did most of the craft room, including all the blocking. The floor upstairs is super stiff now.

Today we finished the drywall in the craft room and I spend over 6 hours taping the corners in both rooms*. It was generally easy but takes longer due to having to lay a spread of mud twice. It also looks tremendously better than the last time I mudded. I followed the method in this video. I think it turned out really really well. I also invested in a quality drywalling trowel. It is a lot easier to use than the scrapers I had before.

Tomorrow I'll finish the first layer by putting on the other side of the corners after the first side dries. Then I'll be doing the seams.

The hope is to be painting this next weekend if not before. We have our paint picked out for each room and we picked up some high quality primer to start putting on later in the week.

* So I effectively spent the entire day in the basement, which is fine since its actually 10 degrees warmer down there than the upper floor. Best place to be when its -2F out. :lol:

Image

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ffj
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by ffj »

That's some serious progress. Your guy in the video has some skills. Did he ever mention why he only does one side at a time (second pass) though? I don't know that I have ever seen that, certainly from guys that do it for a living, as it would increase their time to get the job done. Maybe I've never noticed?

Also, in your upper photo, be careful to not lay down too much mud from the corners before you tape your cross seams. I like to tape everything at the same time so I don't get a "bump" where the two intersect. Disregard if I am misreading the picture.

Have you ever used an inside cornering tool? http://www.sears.com/hyde-09410-maxxgri ... ockType=G9 Makes my life easier but then my skills are rudimentary. :)

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

He just said he had never used one of the corner trowels since he could make his corners look good without it. It does take forever making two passes. I might consider picking one up but I'm not fond of picking up more specialized tools than I need. We'll see how my corners turn out. So far I have both passes of the first coat down and it looks good.

The seams are getting a bit less mud in them yes. I'm also only putting the mesh tape up to the plaster on the corners, which is essentially right to the paper tape.

Some of the things I've been learning through practice include keeping the knife as close to parallel to the drywall as possible when making the last stroke. It makes it really smooth and even.

Second is that each layer has its own purpose. First layer is the fill later and you don't need to press with too much pressure and that it doesn't need to be absolutely perfect. The second and third passes require more pressure because you are essentially pushing putty into all the little hole and also it breaks down the crust on the first layer a bit and smooths it out. Think of it as putting on as thin a layer as possible, and then trying to scrape 100% of it off (you can't). I tried this on some of by previous work (which is still really bad) and it is super smooth!

Third is that you want the mud on your trowel for as small a time as possible. Maybe less than 2 minutes. If you grab too much it starts to dry out and is much harder to work with. So minimal mud on the trowel and spread it as quickly as you can while making it look good.


It has been a heck of a long weekend doing all this work. Going back to work tomorrow will be a relief!

spoonman
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by spoonman »

Holy cow, everything is coming together very nicely with your project. It's funny how work will be a relief and will allow you to unwind. The good old job does have its uses after all =).

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Ha, yes it is very sedentary if anything. I have been finding the combination of sitting in an office all day and then doing physical work for several hours in the evening to be pretty nice. I've been able to keep it up for 1.5 weeks now.

It's funny but I don't feel like its coming together at all. I'm still looking at the same stupid green walls that we put up two months ago! Ready for some paint! Granted we did have holiday and didn't originally plan to paint now so I'll just blame that.

On top of that I still have some work to do on the original work I did from a couple weeks ago before discovering John Heisz's videos on how he does drywall. Had I found that back in December I'd be done by now. Mostly some mega sanding because I put it on a few joints way to thickly. I've been waiting for warmer weather so I can turn off the heating (so I'm not dusting the entire house). We should get some warmer temps later this week so I think tonight and tomorrow will be finishing the ceiling work and then Thursday I'll get my sanding done.

I really shouldn't beat myself up though just because I think things should go faster. John has been working on his house for 2-3 years now and he never completely finished his basement yet. Just put up unfinished drywall. These things take time and really shouldn't be rushed anyway.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

We have the DW's new craft room primed. Everything turned out really really nice. There are only 2 spots that I need to sand down/spackle and redo*.

The guest bedroom is completely mudded, sanded and ready to be primed. DW is doing it tomorrow while I'm at work. Then we will be heading to get our paint and what supplies we need to finished these rooms this week. Mostly trim, some different concrete screws for fixing a few of the OSB subfloor sheets. This week I'll finish up the DW's yarn shelving after we paint it, put in the doors for both rooms after we paint those, find a door or something for the sump closet, and put down the floor. By next weekend the DW will be all moved in and I'll never see her again. :P

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*Considering how obsessive compulsive I can get about this type of thing that is saying something!

Tyler9000
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Tyler9000 »

Nice! I always find this type of remodel work inspiring.

ffj
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by ffj »

That really lightened everything up, didn't it? Looking good!

spoonman
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by spoonman »

I love the recessed lighting! The room looks very elegant right now.

cmonkey
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Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey »

Thanks everyone. I put in probably 20-25 hours of work this week getting all the mudding finished. It would have gone a lot quicker had I had good technique to begin with. The ceiling work was completed very quickly and needed absolutely no touch up work, just a light sand and looks awesome (which is good since that's where our eyes go as its nearly at eye level). Looking forward to a very easy time with the rest of the house.

Yes it really did brighten the room up! It's almost too bright actually the camera doesn't do it justice. I think the flooring will tone it down a bit. We are painting this room a shade of white that is a bit brighter than this. The primer is a light grey actually and is close to the color that we had picked out for the other room, although given how bright it is we might go with a touch darker grey.

DW is priming the other room today. Tonight we are putting in the doors.

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