As you know, I’ve been forced to do some basement renovations due to a bit of water intrusion earlier in the spring. Today, the tear down finally got to where I thought it had come in – figuring I’d find a minor matter quickly fixed before rebuilding. But things are never as simple as one hopes.
This is in the basement part of what we call the annex, where one day a four season sunroom will sit. Right now, the annex is only basement, with a flat roof a foot or so above ground level and simple wood deck on top of that, a deck on which I cook BBQ and we enjoy the summer. It’s a bit like a bunker that way.
It was put in by some previous owner thirty years or so ago and he’d finished it in late 70s, early 80s style to provide space for a laundry room and workshop. I suppose he ran out of money after putting in a fully serviced additional foundation and never got around to building the planned extension above ground. I knew I wanted to spruce it up and bring a number of things up to code and make it more livable at some point, preferably after a new above ground structure sat on said foundation. The water intrusion forced me to act now.
Sadly, taking down the paneling and then the insulation, I discovered that the water was coming through a rotting piece of the roof, i.e. under the deck I just finished fixing to extend its life until we build that sunroom in 3-5 years. And that means the deck needs to be scrapped so the roofers can take out the current roof, replace the rotting wood and the re-roof the thing. After which, since we’re not ready to build the sunroom yet, I have to build a new deck, as cheaply as I can. The current deck was built for us out of red cedar over 15 years ago. I’ll build the replacement with pressure treated lumber and do it myself. At 25 feet by 12 feet, it’s not exactly small so I’ll try to stay cheap, seeing as how its lifespan is expected to be short.
I’ll be completing the tear down this week, while I get estimates for the roofing work and a dumpster big enough for the remains of the deck. After that, I’m at the mercy of the roofers. Until that’s fixed, i.e. the rotting wood removed and replaced and a new roof in place, I can’t rebuild the basement annex. It needs to be fully protected against water intrusion again.
Fortunately, this came at about as good a time as possible. It’s the middle of July, which gives me plenty of time to get everything done before winter, when I must have fresh insulation in place. I have my full days to work on the project while my editor finishes up with Like Stars in Heaven and I’m over a quarter done with Decker #4.
As Robbie Burns famously said, “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men, / Gang aft agley.”
And when they do go ‘agley’ as the Scottish bard so pungently puts it, I’m thankful for our ‘oh shit’ fund in the bank, money set aside exactly for these kind of unforeseen expenses.
Such is life. Full of unexpected wonders. Mind you, there’s nothing like an immediate problem to get a professional procrastinator like me going at full speed, so there is a silver lining to that particular cloud.
A good thing I’ve been watching reno shows on TV every evening for the last few weeks (Mike Holmes, Leave it to Bryan, etc).