The Demolition Mission, Part 1

Not since Pee-Wee had his Big Adventure has there been such excitement over a basement.

(I’m a little sentimental over this movie, as dear husband and I saw it on one of our first dates in….1985!  I still laugh like a 17 year old girl every time I watch it.  But I digress….)

We have officially owned September Farm for 10 days.  It took us awhile, but we are finally getting to demo the basement!  It will eventually become two or three comfy bedrooms for our older children, so we want to do it right.  It’s difficult to say what charms us most about this space:  the pristine drop ceiling, the glowing fluorescent lighting, the sweet hum of the dehumidifier, the 2 adorable sump pumps that still work, or the retro paneling that has been glued to the concrete walls.  As much as we want to preserve the original character of our country estate, we know some of these features require loving attention demolition.  (Hubby plans to repurpose the lights for his greenhouse.)

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We have had 5 straight nights of very welcome rain this week.  We already knew our basement leaked a little, so we jumped at the chance to pinpoint exactly where the problem spots were.  David skillfully wielded the hammer and chisel to remove ceiling, wood, and paneling.  Though we knew challenges would abound in this space, it was good to see them out in the open.  This somehow makes the tasks ahead of us less daunting, I think.  We even recruited son Shaun (14) to help.  He enthusiastically picked up the sledge hammer and did a man’s work, incredulous at the fact that we really did want him to destroy something!

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The satisfying demolition mission ended with large piles of rubble, sweaty he-men with bulging muscles, and the happy discovery that the small basement leaks are very fixable.  New knowledge of previously hidden challenges face us, just as we expected.  What’s the best way to arrange the walls now?  What do we do with the plumbing in the former crawl space that is blocking where we wanted to put daylight windows?  And why in the world would anyone cover a beautiful, glittery popcorn ceiling with industrial office tiles?  These questions beg to be answered, but not today.  Today we will revel in the fact that the rain has gifted us with some important answers for the basement renovation, as well as started to fill the one acre pond that was bone dry a month ago.  This is OUR big adventure, and we are grateful for every bit of it.

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