Digging a Pit & The Kitchen

Once again, I am totally pooped after my weekend.  I need a weekend after my weekend to catch up on my sleep and recharge.  I even had coffee this morning just so I could work, while at work.

I fully intend to take a nap after work today and perhaps do a bit of movie watching/knitting if my energy level improves – chocolate may be in order also.  heh

So… why am I so sluggish today?  Well, I dug a giant pit in my basement (along with my dad and Felix).

Basement Digging_1

Same old work clothes as the last post I realize… I only have so many crappy T’s and pants in my wardrobe.

Bob worked at jack hammering out the top layer of concrete in our basement floor.

Basement Digging_2

Then Felix and I loaded up the large, broken up pieces in buckets and dumped it outside in a pile.

Basement Digging_3

Then we set about digging out the sand.

Basement Digging_4

(Not the most glamorous of photos of me…)

I believe we started somewhere around 1pm and finished up around 7pm.  I admit, it’s not quite a full day’s worth of work.  But three large shovel loads was all I could handle in the bucket to lift it up the basement stairs and hand it off to Felix to dump in the backyard.  Damp sand is HEAVY!

Basement Digging

Surprisingly, I’m not at all sore from the work just fatigued, overall.

Sitting on Basement

(via Instagram).  This gives a much better sense at just how deep we dug.

I guess the thing you’ve all been wondering is “Why?!?!”

Well… the long and short of it is, we’re redoing all of the plumbing lines in the house.  Which is going to be awesome!  :D  It’s a bit scary that I get jazzed up about rebuilding the house’s infrastructure.  It’s going to be so nice to not have to worry about any breakage or repair when we’re all done.  It’ll be like we have a brand new, 1885 Victorian cottage.

First off, this giant, vertical pipe on the right is the waste line.  This is going to be moved much closer to the wall, instead of being right in the walkway.  So we had to dig all the way down so the plumber could do his thing.

I can’t imagine paying a plumber $50 an hour to do all of this digging himself, just so he could get to the lines to start his work.  This took 3 of us 6 hours, so if it took the plumber 18 hours to do the same digging, this one thing alone would cost us $900 – just for labor on this portion.

We’ll be changing the cast iron waste lines to PVC, and we’re changing the lead pipes to pretty copper lines.  Everything is getting an upgrade when possible.  We’re stubbing in a second bathroom in the basement (to be finished later when funds allow).  But it makes sense to add in any potential infrastructure now while we’re here instead of coming back in 5 years to do the same thing all over again.

When I say *us* here, I mean the plumber.  heh  We don’t have that kind of skill, but we’ll be assisting him when he needs us to.

We’re anticipating having to do some more digging in the remaining back section of the basement, near the sink – but this will be done after we hear back from the plumber on where we need to do the remaining digging.

The Kitchen:

Come to think of it… I haven’t shown you our kitchen at all!  I post all the time on instagram of the progress… blogging is a bit harder to keep up with in the midst of everything.

These are a few shots of the kitchen demo we’ve been doing.

Kitchen Demo

Everything is down to the joist spaces – above, below, and all sides of the kitchen.  I’m getting pretty good at walking across them – but we do have a few sheets of plywood down for walking ease by the back door.


Side Kitchen wall – where the stove will go:


Plumbing lines are overhead feeding the upstairs bathroom and also on the far right for the half-bath on the first level.

Having everything torn down to the joists means the plumber will be able to lay down the lines – easy peasy.  He’ll have absolutely nothing to work around which should reduce the time he spends – which means we’ll have lower cost.  :)  A definite win-win.

After the plumbing comes new electrical lines run – when needed (by licensed pros obviously).  We’re focusing on the kitchen first then the remainder of the house will be done.

Yay infrastructure.  There’s nothing like starting from scratch on building your dream kitchen.  :)

In: House Adventures Miscellaneous

Blogger for 6 years and counting, I am a passionate creator who loves to tinker.

Comments (5)

  1. Amy June 16, 2014 — 2:10 PM

    Your kitchen looks just like mine currently! W aren’t making as much forward progress as you though. It’s so hard to get anything done with a baby! We might give in and hire a general contractor. I assume you guys are acting as your own? It all just seems so do-able since we have most of the know-how… Just not the time! We will also likely redo a lot of our plumbing. I’d never considered that that might mean tearing up the basement floor. Oh my!

    1. Liz June 16, 2014 — 5:05 PM

      We knew before having the plumber come that we needed to tear up the basement floor. It’s an old house and doesn’t have a drain/pump thingy in the basement. If we were to ever get flooded the water has no where to go but stay there. So you may not need to tear up the basement like we did – unless you too don’t have a drain.
      It’s not something I ever knew to look for in purchasing a house. heh

      Yes, we’re very much hiring the trades as we need to. My dad is in the trades and has lots of good contacts for us (trusty, licensed people who are reasonable). I admit, we’re very lucky in this respect.

  2. MarrieB June 16, 2014 — 4:19 PM

    Wow, digging that hole in your basement is no joke – that’s serious work! I’m impressed by how hard you have been working to restore your home, it’s going to be lovely when it’s finished. I understand the excitement over infrastructure, we recently had all our wiring upgraded in the house, and it’s so nice to be able to run several appliances at once.

    1. Liz June 16, 2014 — 5:02 PM

      Oh yes! I can totally sympathize with the electricity – appliance usage. I only have 3 working outlets on the whole first floor – aka main living level. It’s challenging to say the least.

  3. Bonnie Brannon June 16, 2014 — 4:48 PM

    Amazing – I’m most impressed by the fact that you (and Felix) keep smiling, no matter what challenges you face – very classy. And a Total shout-out for Beneficent Bob and your Marvelous Mom.

    I’m entertained too by the cheerful message on your “crappy” t-shirt, as I live only a few sort blocks from Huntington Drive (in the old days known as Route 66) in Monrovia, California. :)

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