George V. Reilly

Basement: two steps forward, one step off

Work on the basement proceeds.

Our neighbor Leo helped me out with carpentry in the basement on Saturday. Emma and Delf went to Oregon on Friday for the Flock and Fiber Festival, and didn’t get back until Saturday night. Leo and I stablized the framing around the furnace, put up all the paneling, routed the TV cables above the ceiling, and replaced the missing ceiling tiles.

On Sunday, we planned to paint the spare bedroom and the basement. It didn’t work out as planned. Just before lunch, Emma fell off a stepstool while priming the walls of the spare bedroom, and hurt herself. She spent six hours waiting in the Emergency Room at Swedish Hospital. She has a severe contusion of the heel, and will be on crutches for a while.

Delf and I did some additional framing around the furnace, and tried to figure out what to do with the 11-foot-wide doorway into the new basement bedroom. The floor is uneven and the height of the opening varies from 74 to 76 inches. Standard doors are all 80 inches high: 82", if you buy a pre-hung door in a casing. It’s not practical to cut six inches off the bottom of a hollow-core door. I think we’re going to put up some plastic accordion doors for now. Not great, but it will provide some privacy and keep heat in. Eventually, we’ll level the floor and build some custom doors.

Louise finished priming the spare bedroom and helped me demolish the frame around the basement window, and to seal off a 6’x6’ area around the window with plastic sheeting. Dakota Concrete Cutters cut out a 39"x19" lump of concrete at the bottom of the window, dropping the bottom edge to 40" above the basement floor. Amazingly, he made almost no mess and vacuumed up most of what mess he did make, so the remaining cleanup will be easy. Milgard are coming out this afternoon to measure the hole, so that we can get a window put in.

Last night, I painted the ceiling of the spare bedroom. Emma is going to be the first tenant of the spare bedroom. There’s no bathroom upstairs, where we normally sleep, and she can’t climb the stairs. Last night, she slept on the fold-out couch in the living room. I’ll paint the walls of the spare bedroom this afternoon, and it should be habitable by tonight.

It’s a good thing that I don’t start work at Atlas until next Monday. I should be able to finish the painting during the week, and the carpet should be installed towards the end of this week.

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