Basement Project #11: Finishing Touches on Cabinetry & Flooring

Cabinetry and the Oil vs. Latex Paint Debate

One of my incentives for remodeling the basement was to create storage for those infrequently used items—such as kitchen appliances (mixer, corn popper), items bought in bulk, vases, light bulbs, wine, wrapping paper and ribbon—and enclosing them in a cabinet so they wouldn’t gather layers of dust that has to be removed before you can use any of them. My new space has pantry storage shelves, a base cabinet with drawers, wine cellar, and a closet to hold items we will take to and from the cabin such as golf clubs, coolers, paper products, etc. For the first time ever my basement is organized and I know where to find things.

I chose to do all the trim and cabinets in white to keep the basement as light as possible and because I don’t plan to ever change the color. It’s easy to repaint a wall but not cabinets and trim.

In the past I would have used oil-based paints to enamel the cabinets but I have become a believer in latex paints. Not only are they much more durable than in the past but they are a healthier choice and better for the environment. Using latex also saves a lot of time. It dries so quickly that you can paint an hour after applying the primer and only a few hours later for the second coat.

I’m thrilled with the cabinets but I did have to spend many hours priming and painting them. In addition to the cabinets there are six doors—to the cat litter room, closet, laundry, bathroom, plant room and mechanical room—that needed to be painted. I am grateful to my friend Dianne who graciously lent a hand when she realized I was completely overwhelmed with the amount of painting that needed to be done.

Of course I would have preferred to paint a
floor like this tile floor in Vietnam!
Concrete Floor & The Stain vs. Paint Debate

Once the cabinets and trim were painted I turned my attention to staining my newly poured “virgin” concrete floor. To warm up the room I wanted a “marbleized“ look of brown tones or possibly a mixture of rust, green and brown.

I soon found out that even though it was new concrete, I would need to etch the floor with an acid product so it would properly accept the stain. I used acid on concrete many years ago without proper ventilation and nearly killed myself with the fumes. I didn’t want to do that again so once again I turned to Natural Built Home for a healthier and more eco-friendly solution. I bought a latex etching product and three colors of latex stains. I watched the U-Tube video on staining floors and it looked so easy—yeah right, just like the ceiling install had looked easy! I choose an obscure area of the floor to experiment with the samples. No matter what I did the results weren’t good.

Luckily Dan Wolf, a paint and wallpaper professional, happened to be here. He told me I was crazy not to just paint the floor. So I bought three colors of Porch and Deck paint from Benjamin Moore. After experimenting for hours on pieces of drywall and on the floor of the workout area, I decided that I didn’t have the skill, practice or training to end up with the blended effect I hoped to achieve.

Instead, I painted the entire floor in Midnight Sky—the same deep blue color I used to set off the Moroccan pattern on the Murphy bed panel—and I’m very happy with it.

Floor Finishing Tip: Even though Porch and Deck paint is supposed to be tough, I recommend finishing the floor with a final protective coat of polyurethane.

Finally I can put the jute rugs down that I bought from IKEA and the rubber mats I purchased for the workout area.

The flat-screened TV is hung and the treadmill is in place. I’m hoping to have time soon to take advantage of both of them. 

There are only a few things to be done: Finish the plant room/ dog washing room, tile the walls of the laundry room, help my husband finish his wine room and do some interior decorating of the room.

Almost there…


Basement Project #10: Ceiling Decisions or Hitting the Roof

My original cost saving solution for the basement ceiling was to spray paint the joists dark grey so they would “disappear”. I have also seen basement ceilings that were spray painted white. But when I looked at all the electrical wires running through and all the valves for our in-floor heat on the main floor I decided it was necessary to cover the joists with ceiling material.

There are not many options really—either drywall the ceiling or use a suspended ceiling or a combination the two. I felt it was important to have access to those valves, gas shutoffs and miscellaneous wiring, so a suspended ceiling seemed like the logical choice. But given that my ceiling height was only 83 inches high I was reluctant to drop it another 6 inches or more with a traditional suspended ceiling. Plus, I’ve never particularly liked the look of those ceilings. The main room in the basement actually had one when we moved into the house. I immediately removed it because it was damaged and dirty and seemed to close in the space. (Ha! You are probably wondering why I bothered, given how horrible the rest of the room looked! But in my mind it was a quick improvement.)

While researching ceiling products I concluded that a direct mount ceiling offered the best solution for my basement. I wouldn’t lose valuable ceiling height and the panels would still be on a “grid”, making them removable if necessary. Plus, the video made it look so simple. For the grid I decided to use Ceiling Link, a PVC plastic material that is Class A fire-rated. When combined with the panel I only lost 1inch of ceiling height. Yay!

In their defense, ceiling panels today are better than the old versions. They can be made of rigid vinyl or recycled material, making them lighter than the traditional. Both can be Greenguard certified. Many are Class A fire rated.

There are a lot of panel options. Most are now 2’x2’ or 2’x4’ instead of the old 1’x1’. This saves installation labor and provides a more uniform, less “busy” look. I chose the 2’x2’ Armstrong Sahara 273 panel which looks like an updated suspended ceiling panel. It has a fine texture and doesn’t look like the old panels with the holes in them. They are a commercial weight. The deciding factor though was that they provide a 50% sound reduction, something we really need because right now you can stand in the basement and hear people whispering above in the foyer. Without a sound barrier the 42-inch TV we are installing in the basement would become a major nuisance for anyone on the main floor. The panels are available through Lowes, but there is a four-week wait for special orders.
Enthusiasm reigns  (at first)

So, finally it was time to tackle the ceiling. The walls were painted, the Armstrong panels were delivered and sitting in the basement and I couldn’t put it off any longer. “It should be easy!” I’ve said that many times only to realize it was a lie!

My friend Mark came over to snap some plumb lines across the ceiling and to get  started.

Trying to set the level so it is level

Mark carefully laid out the ceiling and then began to hang the first row. Although he is 6’3”, nearly the height of the ceiling, it didn’t make installation any easier for him. Constantly looking up and working over your head is difficult. Because the joists rolled along every which way it was impossible to hang the tiles directly onto the joists and make them level. A notorious perfectionist, it wasn’t long before he became totally frustrated. 

Rented Rotary Laser Level--a life saver

I rented a rotary laser level and he used that to try to level down the rows. It did not work like he hoped since the joists dip in places and blocked the laser’s beam. Since Mark is a good friend who has already spent many hours working for nothing on the basement, I finally told him to go away and forget the ceiling project. Who needs that stress?  

The opening to the stairwell determined
the height of the ceiling

I used the level to mark a level ceiling line around the room, beginning with the lowest point of the ceiling, which was the stairwell. It determined the permanent height.

Shimming one door 1.5 inches above another

The plumb line grazed the top of one doorway but was 1.5 inches above another. It crossed in front of one of the windows and was above another window. Obviously perfection has no place in an old basement!

Almost complete!

It took at least four solid days of shimming and measuring to finish. Getting the track up was miserable enough. Cutting the tiles with a blade and then sliding them into the tracks while tiny, sharp particles from the panel fell into my eyes was another kind of miserable. 

As is true in all kitchen and bath design, every 1/8 inch made a difference as to whether the tile would slip into place or the cross piece would sit on the track. I had to move down several recessed lighting cans at points where the ceiling was shimmed down 2 inches from the joists. It was a thwarted process at every step. 

It did not turn out perfectly but I have to admit, I am thrilled with the result. However, I would NEVER do it again. It was by far the hardest work I did in the basement — or at least it ranks right up there with the horrible asbestos removal! 

A direct mount ceiling is a good choice for new basements with level joists, but older basements like mine are still waiting for a more satisfactory system. 


Basement Project #9: Abracadabra...from Closet to Powder Room

Front Hall Closet....
and soon to be powder room

I knew the basement would be a major project, but I thought the main floor powder room would be a snap. After all, it’s a small space and the existing wood floor could stay. I planned to redo the wallpaper, hang the sink, add a toilet and call it a day. Needless to say, it didn’t turn out that way…


One wall almost done
As mentioned previously, the new plumbing required extensive lath and plaster removal. The two interior walls and the small outside one came down easily and made me over confident. 

Early Sunday morning, the day before the plumber was due, I tackled the final wall, assuming I would be done in time for Meet the Press at 9 AM. Smashing into it I was greeted with a nightmarish downpour of vermiculite insulation—almost certainly containing my old nemesis, asbestos (see Basement post # 4). I realized then that our house is built with “balloon” construction meaning there are no sill plates all the way up to the attic. The walls are basically an open, unobstructed runway between the first floor and the attic. 
Demolition tools (+ muscle)

I frantically stuffed newspaper up between the studs to stop the flow. I was wearing a mask because of the plaster dust but was totally unprepared for more hazardous material removal. I gingerly got out of the room and sealed off the space so asbestos fibers couldn’t float into the rest of the house. I knew from previous experience that I had a big job ahead of me of bagging, boxing, and bagging again. Needless to say, there was no Meet the Press or leisurely pancake breakfast that morning.

Ultra Touch insulation and
the roughed in ceiling fan 
Original horsehair insulation
and some cellulose, before
the vermiculite deluge
Insulation and Sound Barriers

We knew from an earlier energy audit that insulation would be needed. There was a scant 1/2” layer of horsehair and disintegrating paper in most of the home’s walls. I decided to use Ultra Touch insulation again for the powder room wall because it insulates well and also mitigates sound well. We created another sound barrier in the interior wall with framing.

In Floor Electric Heat
It made sense for such a small space to install in floor electric heat. I ordered a mat from NuHeat that fit the space exactly. The electrician checked it when it arrived, and again after the mud was spread over the mat in preparation for installing the tile.
Painting the ceiling metallic gold

Floor Tile, Drywall and Ceiling

After that it was just a matter of installing the natural limestone tile, putting up and priming the drywall, and painting the ceiling.

The Master, Dan Wolf,
preparing to wallpaper

Once again I gravitated to Moorish designs for the walls. I found a beautiful “natural” wallpaper made from mulberry bark with beautiful lattice-like designs stamped on it in gold, a perfect complement to the brass sconces. When Dan Wolf, the paper hanger rolled it out small bits of the mulberry wood flaked off it, leaving white spots on the dark brown paper. I had considered hanging this paper myself but I’m sure I would have completely ruined it. Dan is skilled, with 40 years of experience, and it was a difficult job even for him. Besides working with fragile paper he had to maneuver in a ridiculously small space. Somehow he got the design to come together perfectly at the corners despite the fact that the walls have an inch difference between the top and the bottom of the wall. Amazing!
The paper is up, floor is in and 
refinished baseboards back on.


A job/cost I hadn’t considered when planning the project was re-staining and varnishing the old woodwork. For 90 years the sun had been beating through the window, fading the once-rich colors of the molding and woodwork. It was also nicked and worn from use. It would have been a shame to put up that lovely wallpaper and not have beautiful woodwork alongside it. 

Fixtures and Fittings

Unpolished sconce on left,
polished on right
Selecting fixtures for a 3’ x 4’ powder room (formerly a closet) is challenging. Years ago I purchased a pair of sconces at the ReUse Center (which I’m sorry to say no longer exists) knowing they would be perfect for a powder room. They are solid cast brass, and beautifully made. I paid a mere $50 for them. 

Will it all really fit...
and a person too?
Two years ago I got a Vitra sink at an International Market Square (IMS) sample sale for a terrific price. It’s the perfect size, and eliminates the need for a countertop and vanity. Unfortunately, the sink has to be installed on an outside wall where adequate insulation is a concern, so the pipes had to be run inside the room instead of inside the walls. This sink wasn’t designed for exposed pipes coming up through the floor – and even if I could afford brass pipes it would be too much brass for such a small space. So I still need to figure out a way to cover the pipes. I will probably have a woodworker build a little wood “skirt” to hide the pipes. 

It took some time to find just the right single-handle faucet for the sink. Most are more contemporary than I like and often only available in chrome or bronze. I wanted brass to complement my brass sconces. I fell in love with the Henry faucet from Waterworks. It’s a tad more stylistic than I wanted but it has a brass living finish, meaning it will develop a lovely patina over time. It has a single cross handle that adjusts the water from cold to hot as you turn it, a wonderful feature.

Because the front closet is such a teeny space, a wall-hung Gerberit tank with Duravit toilet bowl proved to be a perfect fixture. Because the tank is housed inside the wall, the bowl extends less than 20” from the wall, which is 6” or 8” less than almost any round front toilet. It has the added bonus of hanging above the floor making cleaning easy. (I know what you are thinking, but it won’t break off  the wall, they are designed to withstand 800 pounds!)


After the sconces were hung there wasn’t much room above the sink for a mirror. There are some gorgeous and unique mirrors available but I found that the ones I loved were far too expensive. So I decided to repurpose a frame from an old tapestry I had. It goes perfectly with the gold stamped wallpaper. David Radtke, a local woodworker, cut it down for me. Glass Art Design added a mirror, wiring and blocking to make it stable enough to hang. Being able to improvise is an important skill when remodeling and designing. 

Finishing Touches

The powder room is almost finished. It still needs some color so I am on the lookout of some fabulous, bright piece of art for the wall and some “just right” hand towels in bright colors. The large window and mirror in such a tiny space make it a difficult room to photograph, but I will post final pictures soon. The powder room transformation is a success!

Meanwhile, back in the basement…the ceiling is being installed; another success, still in the making. Stay tuned…


Basement Project #8: We Were Framed...and Other Dilemmas

Walling off the mechanical room
Finally, the framing began! My friend Mark arrived and started by framing in the walls that separate the mechanical room from the main living space and the exercise area.

Most of the basement ceiling was open to the joists but a small section in the exercise area was plastered and needed to be removed so Mark could box in the heating pipes that ran across the ceiling. I was glad that Mark insisted on removing this old ceiling in the work-out area because the ceiling is low enough that we wouldn’t have been able to have a surface-mounted light on it without bumping into it while standing on the treadmill.

A further bonus to having the ceiling removed was the electrician was able to run wires to the living room to repair one of the outlets there. In so doing he realized that the wires were bare and it was a good thing safety-wise that he was rewiring it.

A few of the dilemmas the electrician needed to address

Note: This happens often in old house remodels. Lots of problems are discovered once the walls are opened. Fixes that arise along the way can add up cost-wise. That’s why I always recommend adding 10% to the budget for unforeseen necessities. 

Once the walls were framed in with 2x4s the electrician was able to start wiring in earnest. It is a well-known fact among remodelers that the “might-as-wells” start with the electrician. Even though I was on a budget for this basement project, it didn’t make sense to skimp on lighting options or outlets. Not doing those things can drive you crazy later when you are using the space. So save yourself the aggravation and add the extras while it is convenient.
Joists reinforced with microllam

Speaking of might-as-wells, the joists below the future powder room were undersized and sagging because, for some strange reason, this house does not have bearing walls in the basement that line up with bearing walls above. So this seemed like the perfect time to shore them up.

Saga Woodworking “sistered on” a microllam to three joists to provide more support for the first floor of the house. A microllam is laminated veneer lumber. It consists of many thin layers of wood sandwiched together with strong glue. They can be much smaller and also lighter than traditional wood joists but have even greater strength. I was happy that the portion of the old joist that sagged could be cut flush with the other ceiling joists to allow the new ceiling to be more level. It felt wonderful to take care of that problem.
Dusty and Pathetic from
removing old sill insulation
Cavities emptied and ready to be filled

The next really horrible job was removing the old material out of the sills along the top of the basement foundation. When these houses were built the open cavities were just filled with a cement-like material that crumbled to sand with age. When I was removing it this incredibly dirty, fine dust went everywhere, even into my nose—despite the mask I was wearing. I wanted to remove the old material in order to insulate the dead spaces because lots of heat is lost at the point where the first- floor framing meets the sill plate. 

Ultra Touch "denim" insulation

My first thought was to fill the voids with “Great Stuff” but that proved to be unworkable. The foam wouldn’t adhere to the sandy sides. It would have been wonderful to have an insulating company come in and foam the areas, but that wasn’t financially feasible for such a small space.
Shortcut for cutting the insulation

I went to Natural Built Home and purchased Bonded Logic’s Ultra Touch "denim" insulation. It is Class A fire-rated, uses 100% recyclable fibers, doesn’t contain formaldehyde, is LEED approved and doesn’t irritate your skin or nose. It’s not necessary to wear gloves when working with it. We used the chop saw to cut it into pieces to fill the sill plate voids.

Meanwhile, the electrician kept working away, continuing to find things that previous electricians had done incorrectly. Ca-Ching! Ca-Ching!

Shimmed to a plumb line
Mark put up studs along the stairway wall, doing lots of shimming because the wall was so uneven. Finally the sump pump area, and the spaces under the stairs and around the main stack were framed in and the doors were hung.

At this point I realized it was time to bring in the plumber again to connect the waste pipe for the future main floor powder room—currently disguised as a front-entryway closet. I had hoped to do the main floor powder room after finishing the basement but I realized in order for the plumber to rough in the pipes, the waste stack and vent would have to be installed. Because we were entertaining that weekend, I not only had to clear out the closet, but I had to put all the stuff out of sight. 

We made a night of it—cleaning out our belongings from the front closet and shifting stuff around in the attic and back closet to create more storage space. Déjà vu!  Once again I wished that I was more of a minimalist! 

The worst of it was that the powder room wall needed to be opened up in order to run the pipe for the toilet, and the opposite wall needed to be opened to accomodate the vent pipe, which meant the wall in the upstairs bedroom above it also had to be opened up to connect the vent to an existing vent in the attic! More moving of furniture! And now the second floor and attic were impacted because of the vent pipe. Dominoes were falling everywhere…
Adding the drywall is an exciting step
After the walls are taped they are ready
 for priming and painting

Back in the basement the framing was completed and moisture resistant drywall was put up to prevent mold growth. It is always a high point in remodeling when the drywall goes up; you can really see progress. 

Next the taper came in to mud the drywall.

Since I am the painter on the job I have many hours ahead of me of priming and painting walls and woodwork but to me it’s very satisfying because I’m in control and it’s such visible progress.

Coming up next: the main floor powder room begins to take shape, too!


Basement Project # 7: Inspiration Pieces

Because I like to shop for antiques and other “finds” that speak to me I often accumulate most of the furnishings before I even begin to remodel or redecorate my own spaces! Twenty-five years ago I knew that we would someday have a cabin. I pretty much had it furnished before we even bought one: blankets to use as curtains, bronze elk candlesticks, rugs, framed fish prints, book cases, and even some vintage lighting. (Didn’t I admit earlier that I was a pack rat?)

Inspiration Side Table
Sometimes clients show me an inspiration piece—a piece of art, fabric or furniture-- that they want to include in their new spaces. I am the same way. It is fun to use that piece to set the theme for the space or use it to point the way toward a color palette for the whole project.

I was shopping recently at Hunt and Gather in Southwest Minneapolis (a favorite place for finds) and bought this inexpensive side table that is perfect for the new basement room. It actually began my obsession with Moroccan shapes and all things Moorish. 

Elle Decor lattice inspiration

Then I remembered a picture from Elle Decor magazine that I had been drawn to earlier and saved: It’s a lattice screen in a New York apartment that was also Moroccan inspired. 

Leather Couch Inspiration
Luckily this Moroccan influence can be found everywhere at all price points, both new and used and other ethnic and organic pieces work together well with it.  These three things, the green lattice-work, the side table and the rust-brown leather couch that is actually the whole reason d’être for the basement project, inspired the dominant colors I wanted to use in the basement project. 

One of my secret mom-reasons behind the current basement project is to have a desirable space where my adult children can stay during Thanksgiving or Christmas. Last year my son, Max lucked out by scoring the guest room while my daughter had to make do with an air mattress in the dining room, an unlucky accommodation that also includes a dog and a cat to walk on top of you and lick your face.
Wall Bed "Find"
Our last house had an ancient wall bed stored behind a large double-door closet in the library. Metal springs with a mattress were attached to one of the doors that pivoted. The house was built for a judge. Neighborhood lore had it that the judge died in that bed, which of course creeped out the kids in the neighborhood. That aside, the concept of a wall bed has always made sense to me, so I was really excited when I found one a while ago at a local consignment shop. It had never been used, it was a top-of-the-line product, and the price was a real bargain. 

Wall bed ready to be moved
I didn’t discover any drawbacks to the deal until we tried to move it. It was incredibly heavy. Taking it apart without ruining the side furniture pieces was impossible—and it still did not make it light enough for me, my husband and my son to move it. So we did have the unexpected expense of hiring professional movers. And it was almost too heavy for those two brawny men, but they managed it somehow.

In general, I have discovered over the years that it is best to avoid buying furniture made of particle board with laminate because often it doesn’t last, much of it off-gasses VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which are thought to contribute to poor indoor air quality cause some short term and possibly long term health effects and, most importantly, is VERY heavy and not fun to move around. So buyer beware! However, I have seen some pretty cool Murphy bed set ups, and have even posted about them on the Celadon Facebook page, so I just couldn’t pass up this bed.

Wall bed faced with Moroccan lattice design
I enlisted the help of a friend, Charles Pederson of Saga Woodworking and Construction, to make a new “face” for the bed. I showed him the picture of the Moroccan screen and asked if he could recreate the lattice-work. He was quite excited with the idea, and intrigued by the challenge. 

This Moorish design is composed of two overlapping squares on the diagonal making an eight-sided star. A second repeated pattern is created when these stars are connected to each other. Assembling each star was tedious—16 mitered pieces separately nailed in—but the finished product is beautiful.  (Don’t call Charles because you want this too. I don’t think he ever wants to make one of these again!) 

For most of us the design inspiration is the fun part. The actual building isn’t always. It can be messy and frustrating, but nonetheless wonderful to watch the progress and see things take shape.  Next post:  pictures of that progress!          


Basement Project #6: Concrete Solutions

Most homeowners know, or will soon find out, that the least sexy repairs cost the most money. A new roof, new furnace, new wiring—or in my case, new basement walls and floor—inevitably eat up a giant share of the budget. However, these things are the basis of solid, enduring construction and good design.

Pouring a new cement floor and redashing the walls with concrete was by far the greatest expense items in my basement project—almost half of the total cost. But both were necessary. The walls were in a constant state of deterioration, continually sloughing cement sand and dust onto the floor and onto anything placed next to them. The floor sagged and heaved as though moles had been at work below the cement; numerous cracks were everywhere. When the sewer backed up earlier in the year we discovered that everything flowed to the middle of the rec room toward a floor drain that had been capped. All these conditions were reason enough to pour a new cement floor.

Floor is gone, new footing poured
I got a couple of bids from cement contractors, considered several other factors, such as reputation and workmanship, and decided to hire Jerry Gardner, Gardner Construction, Inc. I visited the home of one of their satisfied clients and was impressed with what Gardner had done to their basement walls. After hearing a glowing recommendation I decided they were the ones.
As a little aside here, it isn’t always cheapest contractor who is the best choice. Some contractors are just more skilled or experienced than others. It’s also important to get comparable bids. Sometimes a project changes or grows after consulting with the first contractor, so the second one might actually be bidding to do more work. If you have a written plan that all contractors refer to when making a bid you are more likely to get bids that compare “apples to apples”. 
Putting wire mesh on walls in exercise area
The concrete work in my basement was a huge job but they were very efficient—in and out in just a few days. They had about 7 guys working at once so things happened quickly.

Newly redashed wall, drying

Another redashed wall

The first day they took up the old cement floor, hauled it away, and began putting wire mesh on all the walls. The next day they were back early to finish putting on the mesh and to spread the first coat of cement over all the walls. The third day a second coat of cement was applied. Voila! The walls were done. 

Walls alone might have taken the average DIY homeowner several months to complete. 

Yes!  New floor drain next to new water heater

Before they could pour a new floor I had a plumber come out to remove the old floor drain which had been previously capped off. He added a new floor drain and new water heater in the mechanical room. He also ran a sewer pipe for a new powder room which is planned for the first floor (more about that soon).
Pouring new floor

Leveling the new concrete floor

The concrete crew came back, the walls were marked with a laser and the sand leveled so the new cement floor could be poured. The floor was poured in just one day and then they were gone.

Old floor gone, moisture barrier down
Deciding how to finish the new cement floor came next. Home Depot carries a product called DriCore which acts as an insulator and barrier between any moisture in the cement floor and the finished floor. It allows carpet or engineered floors of wood and linoleum to be installed in a basement without having to worrying about mold and mildew. I am a big fan of cork, so my first choice was to float a cork floor. However, the 3/4” of DriCore plus the 3/4” of cork would raise the level of the floor by 11/2". Given that my ceilings are only 88" tall unfinished, cork was not a practical choice. It also would have made the final step down to the basement only 6” while the other steps have a 71/2" rise. If you’ve ever stepped on irregular steps you know how annoying and almost dangerous it can be.

An advantage to my newly poured concrete floor was I didn’t really have to cover it with anything. So I decided to save money by simply staining the new concrete and putting down jute rugs from IKEA. An 8 x 10’ rug costs about $130 so if it should get wet it would not be a big loss.

Okay, solid walls and a new floor may not be sexy but nonetheless they are very exciting to me.

My friend Mark has offered to trade carpentry work for design work so now he can now come over and we can discuss the plans for walls, ceiling, insulation etc.  More about those developments soon…