Monday, June 23, 2014

Concrete Jungle

Well Chickens, I am back!  A little vacation does a girl a world of good, and also allows for there to be some progress in the house.

So this happened!

First there was a thin layer of plastic that went over the dirt floor.

Then a little blankie.

Yes, that is the technical term.

Once the dirt was all tucked in, a wire grid went down.

And attached to that grid?  Plastic tubing that someday will fill with hot water and keep our feet toasty in the basement!  I cannot stress enough that if you are doing a basement remodel, especially in a cold weather zone like Chicago, go for the in-floor radiant heat.  Even if you aren't pouring a new concrete pad the way we were, you can do electric pad system that can go under a variety of flooring.

Look at all this cool tubing!  And the hairy arm of a contractor.  And lets be clear, great contractors are a little furry.  Those smooth skinned waxed and tweezed pretty boys on HGTV are not real.

This is Patrick.  He is one of our favorite people in the whole world, and we thank the universe every day that we are lucky enough to have him building our dream house.  (It doesn't hurt that his lovely wife is a great cook and sends him with all sorts of treats!)

This is the new copper water line, since the original line was determined to be not big enough.

Once everything that needed to be under the concrete was installed, then this was the scene in our alley!

And here is the concrete going in.  They covered our newly cleaned and tuckpointed stone walls with plastic to keep them pretty.

And TAAA DAAA!!!!!  Our new floor.  It is still curing, but once it is all completely hardened, they will bring in a polisher and make it smooth and give it a sheen, and it will be a beautiful and nearly indestructible floor for the rest of our natural lives!  

The other floor update is that they did some test removal of the horrific 1978 linoleum that currently graces our kitchen.  They pulled it up in the butler's pantry, and much to our delight the original oak is intact underneath and is in great shape, so it can be refinished when we do the rest of the floors on this level.  They also pulled it up in a section of the kitchen and while it too is the original oak, there is sadly a lot of dry rot so we will have to put a new floor in that space.  We were anticipating that this might be the case, so it wasn't a huge disappointment.

All in all, we are thrilled with the progress, especially since it is very gratifying to not be living over a dirt pit anymore!  Stay tuned as things really begin to take shape.

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath


  1. Ahh, radiant heat, one of the things that show up in my fondest dreams....

  2. How exciting and to have a contractor who is seeing you through this step by step is immeasurable. It looks amazing,can't wait to see the floors next! Mia

  3. looks great. Love all the upgrades to the home. Any chance you can give up a ballpark range of how much certain things are costing?

  4. Now, to add another possibility... have you looked into acid staining the concrete? My BIL did this in his basement in Chicago and it looks amazing. Google "acid stain concrete" and check out the images. I can see you loving it!