The Most Boring Major Breakthrough

Let's just say we're super excited for this basement project to be finished. I'm literally holding my breath not just because it's going to be AMAZING but because I cannot wait to have our dining room back again. It's like a bomb went off in here. Granted, it's organized, but holy cow extra stuff and messes stress me out. If we weren't so busy otherwise, I'd be combing the shelves for stuff to throw/give away. Watch out Goodwill. We've got just about two weeks to go, maybe three if you factor in a little extra time for painting. And all I can say is thank goodness we're not doing this whole project ourselves. Hiring out is still the best decision we've made all year.

This week we passed the plumbing and electrical inspections. We failed the building inspection because the inspector wanted to see even more spray insulation on the walls. Our guys were a little baffled, but this particular inspector has been nothing but odd and we're not arguing with more insulation. So the colorful insulation guys showed up again on Saturday to fill in low spots. A single drop of water will never make it through the waterproof closed cell insulation on those walls now. Second best decision of the year.

Work was slow on Thursday and Friday because the guys needed to wait for the insulation crew to show up, they were able to put a little drywall up on the closet walls and in a few ceiling areas. But while they waited they built a playset in our neighbor's back yard. These guys don't do idle.

And earlier last week we had the most major breakthrough to hit the hive since we moved in. My dad and S managed to separate off the upstairs bathroom from the one circuit that was feeding half of the house. We know, it sounds pretty boring until you realize that they have spent at least 100 hours mapping out the electric in the house and figuring out how to break up the one circuit that was nothing less than a fire waiting to happen. The final turning point was having the ceiling removed from the old den, revealing a key junction box, which was a total mess of wires before the contractor pulled out the tangled mess, only keeping what was necessary.
S and my dad pulled out a bit more, rewired with heavier gauge wire, and in the process also split a heavily-loaded living room outlet from the major circuit. This is big. End-of-the-day toasts over beer and cheese big.
And in order to fish the new wire up to the living room, S got to use the sawzall I gave him for Christmas, back when I anticipated that there was no way we'd be able to afford to hire out our basement reno and would be spending long nights and all our weekends destroying and rebuilding.
Building our tool collection and having the right tools for whatever project we happen to tackle on any given day is the third best decision this year. Especially since as I type, S is using the hammer drill I also gave him for Christmas to drill a hole through the foundation to bring electricity to the shed.

So in a year and a half we've gone from having solid general electrical knowledge: knowing how to wire a light, how to change outlets and install dimmer switches, to installing recessed lights, rewiring entire circuits and rooms and adding new circuits to the breaker. All because we decided we'd figure out how to be handy. And invited our dads to guide us (or at least be willing to be on speed-dial) with all the knowledge they've acquired as they've figured out how to be handy over the years. Now that's the best decision ever.

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