Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Progress

We started work early this morning. The first task to tackle was filling in the basement window wells with stone. Of course we didn't want to fill them up all the way, but there was a deep mud pit area in each window well and that needed to be filled in, up to the base of the window well insert. We bought 1/2 ton of inexpensive #57 crushed stone to fill up most of the pit, and 1/2 ton of a more expensive decorative stone (it's called chalet) to top that off. So what you see from inside the basement is only the decorative stone. We couldn't have put any more stone in the bed of my little Ford Ranger since we already were close to maximum weight. So we thought we might have to make a second run for stone. Then it occurred to me that we could make lemonade out of the lemons Bartley's crew handed us this week. We broke up the leftover concrete they had carelessly dumped on our lot and put that in the window well pits first. We covered the broken up concrete (which is as if we had just put some larger rocks down first) with the #57 crushed stone next. It worked out well - we didn't need to make a second trip for stone and we used some of that concrete and didn't have to take it to the Fairfax County dump. There's still some left, but we think we might be able to use that for another project.

After a quick lunch, we filled the bed of my truck with free Wood Chip mulch from the City of Falls Church. We used some of it to freshen up a neighbor's yard area where some muddy water from our construction site ended up after a heavy rain earlier this week, some of it covered over the mulch Bartley's crew dumped concrete on, and the rest of it went on the corner of the lot to stabilize some soil, hoping to minimize any future run off.

Now came for the hard work - cleaning the basement floor. As we wrote in a post some time ago, before the sump pumps were installed (and once after they were installed when a crew unplugged the sump pump right before a heavy rain) we ended up with water in our basement. The water brought with it some very fine dirt that sat on the basement floor for months while we've been focused on construction. We decided to clean that up so we can soon stain the basement concrete floor. It took a few hours on hands and knees with a scrub brush, and now the basement bedroom, closet, and bathroom is clean. The floor is drying and we'll test the coloring for the soy-based stain tomorrow before we clean another part of the basement and then put down some plastic tarp to try to keep the area from getting dirty again.

Sorry there are no pictures today; we were busy working and I forgot to snap some photos. It's too dark in the basement to take good photos with the iPhone, so I'll try to bring a real camera tomorrow.

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