Basement down the drain

First of all, thank you all so much for the Steven and Chris love and support - talk about amazing! I was really quite touched by how many of you reached out with congratulations, and I am so grateful to have so many friends out there.  MOOAH to all of you!

One of the things I heard the most about was the basement - since I had never properly blogged about it or shown it off.  I was all set to do a post about it today and tell you the tale of how we got it looking so sweet after starting with this narsty, asbestos-filled, unfinished basement:

Blurry blackberry(!) shots taken at the open house
It was a lot of work and a lot of fun, as you can imagine, and we certainly did not do it ourselves.  In the end, we expanded our liveable area by 1/3 and created a really cozy spot where I spent a LOT of my second maternity leave.


Last night I was down in my newly improved "office" area doing some actual paid work (amazing) and heard some weird gurgling coming from the shower area in the bathroom.  People - when the drains gurgle, sputter, cough, or make so much as a peep - please call a plumber.


Because I am a kind and decent person, I will spare you the more graphic images of what I came down to this morning (and immediately texted my poor husband), and show you only this one.  The shower is one of three drains we have down there, the other two under the dryer and in the furnace closet.  Grossness was spewing from all three.  (Sorry, not often I get to use the word spewing and it is such a perfectly disgusting word, don't you think?)  So, a bit belatedly, I called the plumber (apparently the plumber Mike Holmes uses!).  Bob The Plumber* did not mince words, and, sadly, neither did he use the word spewing.

Blog buddies, I trust you remember this scene, in which we were attacked by our neighbour's tree, narrowly escaping the loss of one son, and burdened with expenses for removal and repairs?


It turns out this was just the first chapter in our "Nasty Dealings with Neighbouring Trees" - which hopefully ends after two (expensive) chapters.  This time, having been perhaps inspired by its ally Neighbouring-Tree-To-The-West's surprise air attack, the Neighbouring-Tree-To-The-North deviously tunneled underground with its roots, harpooning our defenceless clay pipes, and strategically blocking our sewage outflow.  Well played Neighbour's Trees, well played.**


My beautiful basement now looks like this.  Please note how much bigger the water stain is on the concrete than it appeared on the rug!  Luckily Bob the Plumber had me call Chad the Clean-Up-Guy*** and my basement has been cleaned, bleached, and disinfected by a fine crew who just left at 8pm.  The heaters and fans are running as I type, and the place smells like the YMCA.  Next up, digging up our recently-landscaped-with-patio-stone front walkway and the possible removal of our concrete front steps to replace our outtake pipe.

The moral of this story is, never show your house on National television - hubris is a bitch.

*not to be confused with Bob the Builder
**duh, of COURSE I am drinking wine - wouldn't you??
***not of the Pulp Fiction variety

24 comments:

  1. OH NO. Oh bleh. I'm sorry! When we moved into our house that happened right away. It was total grossness. Sending happy healthy home vibes. xo

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  2. barbara @hodge:podgeNovember 13, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Oh, my, not good. Sorry Lisa, that IS the pits.....I take it all neighbouring trees will be removed?

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  3. awwwwwwwwww poor you! that SUCKS. gross, stinky, nasty all over. good luck.

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  4. sundeep @ designwaliNovember 13, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    OH NO!!! totally sucks....keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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  5. Grace_senseandsimplicityNovember 13, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    So bad. Your nice basement all in disarray is just not right. Will the drywall need to be replaced or do you just have to wait and see what everything looks like when it dries.

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  6. They think they can just cut the bottom off the drywall and cover it with new trim. Thanks HEAVENS it did not impact the custom built-ins!!!

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  7. Indeed, but it could be so much worse! (trying to repeat that to myself) :)

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  8. You got it Barb, I am buying a chainsaw tomorrow.

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  9. Aw thanks Lindsay, I am feeling the vibes. :) I actually feel lucky it wasn't worse than it is, and hopefully it won't happen again!

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  10. Yuck! Sorry to hear! Hope everything is back to normal soon.

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  11. oh no!! I hope they clear things up quickly. you have a beautiful basement by the way. not sure you want to hear that right now though :)

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  12. I do - thank you! It will be even better soon! :) My silver lining is that I can replace the carpet with hardwood (I had wished I had done that to begin with...)

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  13. Thanks V - I hope it doesn't take to long either - we love it down there!

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  14. Oh Lisa, what a major pain in the arse! Sounds like you got the right people in right away to do something about it though. When we first moved here we send a camera down the pipe. Roots were there but only blocking a small fraction of the pipe. That was four years ago ... now your debacle is making me
    want to do it again and see how much they've grown!

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  15. How terrible. Sure do not blame you for having a glass or seven of wine. You still have a lovely home. Thank goodness you where home.

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  16. Ufff how disappointing! Thankfully non of your furniture was ruined!

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  17. Oh noooooo! A pox on you, neighbouring trees with your burrowing roots! At least we got to see the basement in its former glory. So glad the custom cabinetry was spared.

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  18. might be worth the cash for peace of mind! this is not fun. at all.

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  19. Thanks Cathy! yes, it is good that we caught it early before it spread too much more. They spent the day ripping the whole basement apart and I think my husband is going to have to stop at the LCBO for a case of wine tonight... :)

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  20. So true, we really were "lucky" as far as backflow issues go!

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  21. No kidding. I bet it's all because we have so much wood in the house... :) And it turns out the cabinetry was NOT spared, but I am hoping we can repair it rather than starting over! moaaaaaaaannnnn

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  22. Emma at The Marion House BookNovember 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    Ugh - what a drag. These are the projects you hate spending money but have to be done!

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  23. So true - who knew there were so many of those?? :)

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