Basement

I had just finished hosting a dinner for friends.  Our guests were on their way home and I had just begun to wash the dishes.  But the hot water tap was delivering nothing but cold. Going down to the utility room to investigate, I discovered a disaster: the water heater tank had failed and water [...]

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From my history resarch, I know that there was a fire in my house a few years after it was built.  One fire is plenty for any house, so I have been making improvements recently to make sure fire safety here is up to snuff. Along with the new firelogs I have been trying, I [...]

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Patched Drain Pipe

by Josh on April 3, 2008 · 7 comments

in Basement,Projects

First thing this morning I picked up some plumber’s epoxy putty at the hardware store to repair the cracked drain pipe I discovered yesterday. This was my first experience with epoxy putty and I found out it is pretty amazing stuff. Straight out of the package, the epoxy looks like an oversized grey tootsie roll [...]

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Cracked Drain Pipe

by Josh on April 2, 2008 · 6 comments

in Basement,Journal

All I wanted was some clean sheets. It’s a simple task, right? Wash. Dry. Fold. Done. Simple. But in an old house, simple tasks can get complicated. Here’s how: I put the sheets into the washer and finished off a bottle of detergent as I started the load. Then I turned to the utility sink [...]

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New Tool: Portable Workbench

by Josh on July 15, 2006 · 0 comments

in Basement,Ideas

After a recent email asking for advice on paint stripping, (Hi, Carrie!) I got motivated to start restoring the window sashes that have been sitting around for a few weeks since I removed them as part of my bedroom project. When I got the sashes to the garage and fired up the Speedheater, I soon [...]

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The Roots Of The Problem

by Josh on June 15, 2006 · 3 comments

in Basement,Journal

We had a visit from Sewergal yesterday to snake our drain which had once again clogged with roots and caused a backup in our basement. The first time we met Sewergal was Christmas Eve, 2004, when our sewer backed up the first time, just two months after we bought the house. On that first visit, [...]

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Seasonal Sauna Signoff

by Josh on March 20, 2006 · 0 comments

in Basement,Ideas

Last week we got 18 inches of new snow and by the end of this week it should all be gone. Finally another winter’s end is in sight, and with it the end to winter activities. If you choose to live in a place with as much winter as Minnesota, you’ve got to find ways [...]

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Workshop: Before and After

by Josh on February 2, 2006 · 2 comments

in Basement,Projects

There is still some tidying to do and I need to find something to do with the lumber from the old storage units, but this phase of the basement workshop project is otherwise complete. Here’s what the workshop looked like a couple weeks ago: Since then I demolished the old storage units and a cardboard [...]

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Drywall Don’ts

by Josh on January 31, 2006 · 2 comments

in Basement,Projects

I knew the workshop would be a good place to practice my skills with drywall, tape and joint compound. It turns out I need a lot more practice. I managed an acceptable job for a basement utility room wall that will be hidden by shelving, but there is no way I would want this wall [...]

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Workshop Wall: Rock and Mud

by Josh on January 28, 2006 · 1 comment

in Basement,Projects

It is Saturday afternoon and the sheetrock for the wall of the basement workshop is hung, taped and wearing the first coat of mud. I thought I might be a little farther along by this point in the weekend, although I am still on schedule to have the wall finished by the end of the [...]

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