Friday, August 16, 2013

Basement Stairs Demo Completed

We decided to demo the last interior wall standing in the basement during a recent stretch of rainy weather.   The basement is the type of basement which will always be 'just' a basement.  Walls interfere with storage and storage is what we need.

Removing the wall that enclosed the basement stairs was an improvement for several reasons.

Reason #1  It enclosed the stairs and made the stairway dark and claustrophobic.
Reason #2  The wall enclosed a small area that was used for storing canning jars.  This room was so small you couldn't turn around in it.  There is also a small window that can open and close that not only give us added air flow but also some natural light to the basement.

Reason #3 We could remove the wooden screen door at the bottom of the basement stairs.  I have no idea why it was there but it needed to go.
Reason #4 A cold air return that was installed at the bottom of the basement stairs needed to be reworked so it wasn't as intrusive AND ugly.

The whole demo took 3 days.  That also included removing all the nails from the salvaged lumber. We always try and save any original or older lumber for future repairs.  The lumber we saved were actual 2 X 4's and they were made of fir.  We also salvaged some old cabinet hinges and cabinet locks.

We uncovered an original light when we removed the cold air return.  This was so unexpected. What was also unexpected was the fact that it was still 'live' and attached to old knob and tube. Whoever did the rewire, also left all the old wire in place.  We have been removing it as we move from room to room.  So far this is the first time we have run across an active wire.  R will trace it back to the source and disconnect it.  But I am thrilled to have an original light fixture to use elsewhere in the basement.

We will build a railing on the steps this winter when we are forced indoors.  For now we love being able to go up and down the stairs without ducking to avoid cold air return.

Tomorrow I'll post a photo of the area and point out the small corrections we made once the demo was completed.