Sunday, January 29, 2012

We're at it again!

Justin and I are coming out of our brief retirement from home reno projects to take on the basement. The posts to the blog were getting a little slim these last few months but there should be a more steady stream coming up.

 The useless wall made of re-purposed doors is removed from the right side of the stairwell. In its place is a new temporary wall for load bearing. Ultimately, we'll move this temporary wall up against the stairs but first we need to reconstruct the stairs.

We had a structural engineer come out and look at our basement a few weeks ago to give us advice on how to properly earthquake-proof our house. Armed with plans for bracing and bracketing the joists and columns, Justin and I hit up the local Habitat for Humanity Home Store to search for all of the Simpson hardware that will shore up our home for "the big one". We found about 75% of the parts we need and buying by the pound at severe discounts is a nice perk. I'm really happy we checked out this store first.

Another shot of our temporary wall: probably overkill since there was nothing really holding up those joists before this wall but it is better to be safe than sorry. You can see the area under the stairs is all demoed out.

This weekend, we took on a little demo and some temporary structures and boy does it feel good to have a project and see some forward progress on this basement. It is a little overwhelming to consider removing the insulation and re-routing ducts and piping to allow for an augmented layout for our basement but we'll be taking it slowly since we have no deadline driving this.


throwsmud said...

We are currently undertaking the structural aspects of our basement as well. Our situation is more related to having added on a 1/2 story and not having a sufficient basement beam. I am curious if the PE you consulted recommended that you check whether you have proper footings under your basement posts and whether you need to put a continuous footing under the permanent structural wall.

Justin said...

Because we are not changing any of the loading of the structure with the work we are doing, the structural analysis was pretty minimal. When we made changes to some of the third floor walls during the initial renovations, the firm we were working with then had us add a beam and post in the basement with a new footing to pick up the load. Getting the new engineered beam in place was the toughest part for the framing crew. We then just cut a hole in the floor, added a post with a base bracket, some rebar and poured the hole full of concrete again. Not exactly the situation you are describing but a possible remedy depending on your wall layout.