Monday, January 17, 2011

Slab / Shop

I'm afraid to look back at the date of when I last posted regarding a suggestion on finish ceiling height in my basement dig out.  Well, After 9 months of design/ planning/ construction, my basement is dug out & the slab is poured.  A brief history of events:  Our house was built in 1852 & had 5 foot ceilings & dirt floors when we bought it.  It had an old boiler (70's) that vented up a central (secondary) chimney.  This chimney was interfering with future 2nd floor new layout.  The boiler was quite inefficient, needed to be replaced & ungodly large.  I went with a direct vent boiler that freed up a lot of real estate in the middle of my basement, and allowed me to demo the chimney in question.  Demoing a chimney that had been venting an oil burning furnace and a coal burning furnace prior to that (for over 100 years) while living there with a young son and 'environmentally critical' wife was begging for trouble.  Relatively speaking it went OK.  The manual labor of hauling the chimney and digging out the basement was substantial, but the worst part of the ENTIRE renovation was the dust.  The dirt in the basement was unspeakably dry.  You would sneeze and dust would come up into the air and not re-settle for 3 hours.  Imagine two laborers digging this out for 9 hours a day?  It had to be a combination of our antique house having more cracks than a Rex Ryan press conference, and our upstairs having negative pressure.  I managed it as best I could and dealt with the fallout coming from the pillow next to me.  The concrete pour had to begin with 'lengthening' the existing foundation walls deeper with a detail my structural engineer and I came up with to not undermine the structural integrity of the foundations since they were not deep enough to withstand digging underneath them.  This resulted in a 20" wide x 10" high curb around the perimeter of the basement and the main central chimney.  I'm not too concerned about the loss of real estate this curb creates as I plan on building workbenches/ shelving on top of this and utilizing it as much as I can.  Design around it.

Net / net?  I have a ceiling height of 7'-9" to bottom of ceiling joists.  I pushed this hard and dug out an additional 12" than planned to obtain this.  It's as deep as I could go without putting NASA on retainer.  I pick up another 8" to 10" if I count the voids between the joists.  This is proving to be a perfect place for lighting, etc.

The heart of my new shop is my new Ridgid R4511, that I have broken down and relocated down to the basement piece by piece.  With no thanks to assembly instructions, I hope to have her spinning by weeks end.

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