August 28, 2010

Gettin' Busy

Friday night we had the house all to ourselves . . . guess what we did?  No!  We pushed ahead with Project Basement - Phase II.  That's right, there's more!

We are preparing to replace our current heating system (hot water radiators) with central heat & air conditioning.  As a result, Phase II of Project Basement has officially commenced.  We need to take down the ceiling on the "finished" side of the basement to allow access for removal of the radiator pipes.

What better time to start than a Friday night?  The ceiling installed by the prior owner is a drop ceiling with a tongue-and-groove edge that is secured directly to furring strips across the floor joists.

The ceiling tiles have been in poor condition since we moved in.  The material was a bad choice for the room because it is impossible to replace a tile once it has been removed.  This makes accessing the pipes, wires, etc. above the ceiling very inconvenient.

Removing the tiles is a dirty and dusty job, but someone has to do it . . .

I can't even begin to explain how gross the top of the ceiling tiles were.  We must have a herd of incontinent mice running loose in the house OR one mouse with a very serious gastrointestinal condition. 

Tonight's work is a good example of the famous old saying "you never know what the former owners hid in the ceiling".

We also removed the enormous out-dated recessed light fixtures. 

Initially we planned on leaving the furring strips intact and using them to attach the new ceiling.  Unfortunately, it would have taken from now until the end of time to remove all of the staples used to install the original ceiling tiles.

The plan has been revised.  All of the furring strips were removed and we are back down to the floor joists.  Due to the resident mouse population, we are now reconsidering our replacement ceiling choice.  After the HVAC installation, we were planning to re-do the ceiling with pine plank paneling.  We are now planning to paint the exposed floor joists and ceiling just like the basement laundry ceiling.  I am feeling good about starting with a "clean slate".

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