We've been furiously working on the basement. To give you a little sense of the progress, take a look at the evolution of one wall...
(the wall during demo -- you can see the top layer of paneling, the under layer of paneling,
and the disintegrating rock-wool insulation and termite-eaten boards underneath)
(the wall during framing: we used waterproof styrofoam insulation between the concrete
and the wood to protect it from moisture, and then added a second layer of traditional
fiberglass insulation between the studs. all cut and placed by yours truly)
(the sheetrock is up -- because of our water issues we splurged on the mold-resistant
sheetrock typically used in bathrooms. Then, our new friend Dean came and
mudded the screws and the seams so the wall appears flat when finished)
(and here it is now, just waiting for carpet. we moved the couch down from our
livingroom in the middle of the project so we could figure out where we would
want the TV -- and thus, decide where to place outlets.)
I worked beside our friend who has all the experience throughout the project. Kathy had to go to work, but she was down there on nights and weekends. It's so fun to see it all coming together, and to feel like we really made something. My major roles were cutting and placing all the new insulation (wearing proper safety equipment, of course -- fiberglass can be nasty stuff if it comes in contact with your skin, lungs, eyes, etc), screwing in (almost) all the sheetrock, caulking all that crown molding, and doing a lot of the painting, staining, and other finishing work. I have to say, it feels much healthier not to have moldering, insect-eaten walls. It seems like it might have been a health-hazard the way it was before. I get such a huge kick out of seeing the progress.
In the meantime, our house is a shambles! We haven't had groceries, every surface is covered in a thick layer of dust, and there is just stuff. Everywhere. Frankly, it reminds me a little of when I was working. Which, I suppose I have.
Up next, some very satisfying before/after pictures, once the carpeting is installed.