The rehab has started.
Sure, I've been working here - nights, weekends, afternoons, pretty much any free time I've had - for the past 2 months, but 70% of that was getting the place just tolerable enough to live in safely and cleanly, and 30% of that was actually moving stuff in. Somewhere in there, I squeezed in a couple weekends working to get the old place cleaned up. No real "rehab" work.
I've already gone through 2 dumpsters, 1 at the old place to minimize how much garbage I drug over to the new house, and 1 at the new place to handle the yard waste. Yesterday, I got a 3rd dumpster: a 30 yarder. What for? Basement demo. The start of the rehab work.
I've purposely kept the basement empty because, in short, it's gross. Not "ew, yucky" gross, but like legit disgusting. It appears to be clean, but the odor tells a different story and it's the things behind walls and above ceilings that are making it disgusting.
To begin with, I will always believe 100% that finishing a stone foundation basement is a ridiculously bad idea unless extravagant means are taken to mitigate water and moisture. In modern construction you get poured concrete foundation walls which are then waterproofed on the exterior side, and then you typically also get a sump pump and maybe even a drain tile system. In the 19th century, you got big rocks mortared together and that was it.
So...stone foundation basements are fairly susceptible to water and/or moisture infiltration, eventually. Finishing those spaces with things like drywall, suspended ceilings, insulation - all things that absorb or collect moisture - is asking for trouble. Add in 6-10 dogs confined to the basement, some ungodly number of mice living (they're dead now...but not before dropping 47 pounds of turds) in the ceiling, and a suspended basement ceiling with impossible-to-replace ceiling tiles below a kitchen that has no subfloor, and this basement is definitely bad news.
As a result, all the stuff one typically keeps in a basement, which in my case is a full blown wood shop, I'm having to store in the dining room. And the kitchen. And every closet in the house. And the yard, ghetto hoosier style. And the foyer. It's a disaster.
Now that I have the dumpster I can demo the basement, or at least a good chunk of it, hopefully rid the space of the decaying carcasses and unspeakable funk, move some stuff into the basement, and start using the space.
But, first things first, right?
The mountains of stone, bricks, busted up concrete slabs, and busted up cementitious building facade that I dug out of the yard and piled up in various places, that had to go in the dumpster first. Today, I accomplished that task, moving each stupid piece of debris by hand from the back yard to the dumpster in the street. It looked a lot like this, over and over and over:
The end result was this:
Can you imagine digging that stuff - most of it actually buried - out of a back yard? I didn't even get into the larger foundation stones; those things are too heavy to move and there are enough of them that I'll figure out some way to reuse them in the yard at some point. Likewise, I didn't touch the patio bricks, which cover several hundred square feet. Those will get pulled up and reset some rainy week...next year.
Still, I accomplished a lot.
That's only half of the piles, but you probably get the idea.
I got that done mid-afternoon and shifted my focus to the basement demo. The logistics of getting stuff outta there are downright terrible. I'm sort of limited to hauling stuff out the walkout door at the rear of the basement, then alllllll the way around the house. If you watched the video, it's that path of travel plus another 30 or 40 feet, most of which takes place in the dark underneath a rotting deck where a stray cat occasionally hides out. Good times.
I picked a random little space in the center of the basement to get started, mostly because it's the smallest room down there and I wanted to get a taste of what I would be up against before attacking one of the larger rooms with a plan that wasn't going to be any good. I only spent a couple hours tearing things apart, and in that time...
...4 mouse carcasses fell from the ceiling (only 3 pictured; I didn't take a pic of the first one because I thought that was the only one I was going to find...silly assumption, eh?), bringing the grand total so far to 6. And all the little black specks on the floor? Mouse poop. The floor was covered with it after ceiling demo.
I ended up tearing out a couple walls, but between the stone hauling and dead mice raining from the ceiling, I was done by that point.
But you better believe I had enough energy for a shower.