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Backwards or forwards?

The basement was really starting to look nice, we had some walls up, a few new outlets, and the bedroom was starting to look like... a room.  And then we went and ruined it all by making holes in the floor.

It was time to start running plumbing for the bathroom.  When you add a bathroom to a basement or a house that has a slab on grade foundation, you need to dig the drains underneath the concrete.  We had a plumber mark off where we needed to dig, then I rented an electric jackhammer and I, along with a couple friends, started digging.  Here's my friend Rob manning the jackhammer.

Here's how our bathroom (without walls so far) changed.


Before - lines drawn to show shower, toilet, and sink placement

After the jackhammer

After we cleaned up the concrete

Along the the bathroom, we also tore up the foundation in the laundry room so we can move the sink and drain to the corner.  In the original placement, the sink was in the way and the plumber said the floor drain had rotted through and didn't work anymore (which we had experienced a bit of but didn't know we should or could easily fix it.  That was a good excuse to move the floor drain and sink to the corner.

We also had to make an opening where the main drain leaves the house so the plumbers can install a back flow valve - otherwise sewage could overflow from the street into our new shower.  Ick.


Unrelated to plumbing, we broke up the concrete in the corner of our soon-to-be-living room.  We think this was the original coal room for our house and possibly didn't have a floor when the house was built.  Somewhere along the line someone poured new concrete in this area but accidentally made it too high so the whole area was raised up.  Our plan is to repour concrete here but make sure it's level so we don't have a weird bump in the living room.





After we broke up the concrete with the jackhammer we had to put it into 5 gallon buckets and haul it upstairs and out to the yard to put in bags so we could get rid of it.  I'm not sure which job was harder, working the 70 lbs jackhammer or carrying 50 lbs buckets up the stairs and out to the curb in the 90 degree humid air.  It was hard work all around and it wore us out quickly.

I finished carrying out the concrete chunks with my buff wife, but we haven't yet hauled it away.  The plan is to get a voucher from our city to bring it to their dump and haul it there in a friend's truck.  After disposing of all the concrete, we'll still have to dig deeper in multiple spots in the basement holes before having the plumber return to install the bathroom and laundry room pipes.

In the mean time, this is the sad state of our laundry room.  Because we continually need to use the laundry room, it seems to be the space where we have the most work (to move everything and unhook gas and water to do work and then put it all back together to do laundry and repeat!)  And in this space, I feel like we've seen the most change thus far, both forward and back again!  Right now our dryer is straddling a trench and our sink is on stilts.  Plumber... come fast so we can start moving forwards again!


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Filed under: basement, How-To, life Comments Off
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  1. What back breaking work! It’s definitely not going backward though. You need to make a big mess to make a big change. I hear you about hauling rubble on high heat index days! We just demoed our fireplaces and chimney using a similar trash can down the flight of stairs removal method, LOL.

  2. You guys are seriously brave! I’m impressed.

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