Basement Gut

Project by NewPickeringWdWrkr posted 05-19-2010 05:56 PM 5190 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As mentioned in my deck project, I had experienced some water penetration into my basement. It was severe enough to ruin the drywall in one corner and the carpets. Nothing else was damaged thankfully (new couches had been brought down the summer previous). You can see the water staining on the floor and the wall by the baseboard.

So we called in our insurance agent and they proceeded to have a demo company come tear apart the wall and assess the leak. What a surprise I was in for!

2×2’s strapped to the wall, drywall used as spacers, a non-existant vapour barrier, shoddy electrical (with sprayfoam in the outlet box and MOLD. No separation between the concrete and the wood. It was either done by someone without the know-how or by someone who didn’t care (a search at city hall revealed no previous permits. This was only the beginning of my problems to be uncovered in this renovation.

Our insurance claim was approved and we decided that with the work that we wanted to make it right and gut the level rebuilding it from scratch. That meant that there would be no hiring of contractors, but being pretty handy, I was eager to do the work myself.

Here are the other problems that I ran into:

1. The foundation wall repair. I hired a contractor to do the work and they found that the weeping tile had been crushed and plugged. They replaced that and ran a drain up to the basement window level.

2. The window needed replacing. water had gotten in around the steel frame and split the concrete and rusted it out. I hired out that fix as well and had the contractor put in a window well.

3. They had tied copper and electrical wiring together within junction points without the approved maretts or ‘No-Al-Ox’ paste. They also had multiple circuits in the breaker panel being fed by a single breaker

4. The ceiling fixture (2 single bulb flourescent fixtures hooked into series) were cut into the ceiling joists. They’re 2×8 joists, but 2” cuts in the middle are not a good thing! The circuit hot wire ran from the electrical panel to the fixture then to the switch then back through the neutral to the panel. So the fixture was ‘hot’ even with the switch turned off. Sigh

What I did:
- complete gut
- I put rigid foam insulation on the floor and walls and framed them properly ensuring that no wood touched concrete.
- Repaired the ceiling joists by laminating new joists to the old ones
- Ran new electrical and replaced breakers with slimmer models to increase the capacity of my breaker panel.
- New smoke detector tied into the lighting circuit
- Cork Flooring (click lock)

A very rewarding experience in all, but it really opened my eyes to ‘What lies beneath’. Inspections passed, I maxed out my Home Renovation Tax Credit and blew the budget to smithereens.

-- Mike - Minimum code = Barely adequate.

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basement water damage gut remodeling

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6 comments so far

View Janice's profile


103 posts in 5030 days

posted 05-22-2010 06:28 AM

WOW! Sounds like you had a big mess on your hands. But it looks great now!

-- Janice

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


204 posts in 5157 days

posted 05-22-2010 05:12 PM

Nice job on the basement.


View gerry6632's profile


2 posts in 4880 days

posted 05-26-2010 03:51 AM

Great job. I have run into many of the same problems. I have recently started to gut the granny flat. I have run into many surprises. There were overloaded circuts, wires that were crossing back and forth over one another and so many rotten or notched out boards. What started out as a couple of week project is looking like it will be a month long project. When I went to check on permits, there had never been any issued for the granny flat at all.

You never know what is hiding behind the wall or under a floor.

View Jim Reeves's profile

Jim Reeves

29 posts in 4955 days

posted 05-30-2010 02:42 AM

Just a thought, l was a drywall taper since 1978 did my friends basement a few years ago.
Then water backed up from the city water main, has 2-3 inches of water in basement, so l went back to repair this time told my friend to keep drywall up 6 or more inches off concrete floor and put on 6 inch or bigger baseboard.
Looks good and as wext time water comes in likely won’t affect walls or wiring on his think we chaulked a line at 5-6 inch mark then put 6 inch baseboard with quarter round on top gives me 6-7 inches flood clearance just a thought


View NewPickeringWdWrkr's profile


11 posts in 4915 days

posted 05-30-2010 02:20 PM

Thanks for the great comments.

Jim, good thought. I’m hoping that installing a back-check valve on my sewage line will prevent that and with a pretty solid vapour barrier on the walls running continuous across the floor will take care of future foundation leaks if they happen. Not expecting much in the way of problems, but you can never bee too prepared! The city doesn’t allow for storm runoff into the sewars any longer either.

-- Mike - Minimum code = Barely adequate.

View EvelynBrewer's profile


2 posts in 2371 days

posted 04-02-2017 07:15 PM

Water leakage is terrible. But it is nice that you found out such nice essayholic.com reviews idea to get rid of this situation. Last season in the summer I also had some kind of situation, my bed room’s roof was leaking like this. And my furniture had totally damaged due to this. But your idea is really helpful.

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