Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Because we can't just sit still for a weekend...

We are going to sneak one little mini-project in before the great main floor bungle-revival begins: rewiring the basement.

In the first few months of us owning the Bungled House, we tackled a complete rewiring of the living room, dining room, foyer and all three bedrooms. This replaced some scary electrical work the house had acquired over the years. For more on this project, go here, here and here.

However, knowing that a full remodel of the rooms was underway, we left a few areas unfinished (no, there's no exposed live wires anywhere). For instance, there are a lot of things like this:
Note the bad plaster job around the outlet and the giant pink foam block. That is a plug, as it is an outside wall. Interior walls were simply ignored. Seriously; there are giant holes in the molding all over our house. Why, you ask, did we not just install the outlets in the giant holes? well for one, it's not code, and for two, we felt the holes in the molding were done in poor taste. Solution?
It's not perfect, but Kevin tried to match the wood grain and I think he did an excellent job. This was also a first attempt, and if we've learned anything from do-it-yourselfing, it's that the first attempt takes the longest, looks the worst and irks you every time you walk past it.

Anyway, back to the original message of this post: rewiring the basement. Two rooms, the kitchen and bathroom, were not rewired in the original project, as both these rooms will require a total renovation some day. Our solution was to run dedicated circuits to every outlet in the rooms so we knew we wouldn't run into any unknown live wires. In the process, we killed the basement electrical. There is one working light in the basement currently (and a few lamps) and one or two outlets. Our plan is to have five lights and two outlets per wall throughout the basement. All lights will be turned on by a switch at the top of the stairs.

I hate dark basements.

It was always one of those things we meant to come back to, as it would really only take a weekend if well planned, but other things just kept getting in the way. Now, however, two things are pushing this project up on the list. The first: trim stripping is going to take place in the basement, and the lighting is seriously subpar right now. The second: the rewiring also cut-off the low voltage wires for the doorbell, and I want it working for trick-or-treaters this year.

I think this might be the original doorbell (or at least the first installed in this house). It worked before the wiring project. It is made by the Edwards Company and has the original installation and maintenance instructions glued onto the back. I will post more pictures and information about the doorbell as I work to revive it this weekend.

I hate houses with broken doorbells. Tacky.

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