Monday, September 5, 2011

Living in the basement!

We have now spent our first week living in the basement suite, as work progresses in the main part of the house. The fireplace was installed. Some more doors were put in. Trim work progressed. And we even hosted our first guests last weekend for a couple nights. Carina and Peter braved the off-gassing fumes, dust and construction zone and tested out our pull-out couch! 
Carina & Peter- our first guests!
The corrugated picking up the colour of
the sunset.
I love how the cedar screen creates
patterns on the corrugated metal at
the front door.

The pantry almost ready for supplies!
Child labour! Bringing up reclaimed brick for the hearth wall.
The brick is from the porch of the original house on the lot.
Putting the salvaged brick in "gabion" cages. I am dry-
stacking the brick behind the fireplace. Notice the metal
clip holding the cage to the wall- it was salvaged from all
the concrete ties found from the foundation stage!
Fireplace in place! and about 3 feet more of
drystack brick to go!
Yay! Basement countertops installed!
View from the pump-jack.
View DOWN from the pump jack scaffold.
Fun times.


  1. Hi Shafraaz,
    I'm curious about your brick wall.
    Does it receive any direct winter sun?
    Is its purpose both as a combustion barrier and for thermal mass?
    Last summer, for the first time, I experienced an earthquake "bump" (5.9) in the Ottawa region. Even though this was relatively mild, it was a stiff jolt. Is this a risk in Edmonton?
    How will the wall perform if you have a serious shake?
    Usually, when building a brick wall, brick ties connect the masonry with the structural wall. Will your wire mesh and clips provide the same strength and stability?
    - Jim

  2. Hello jim,

    Yes, the brick wall will receive some direct winter sun~ so, it will function a bit as a "trombe" wall! It was mainly put up to act as a thermal mass when we have a fire going. The drywall is already the combustion barrier.

    We do not have a significant earthquake risk in Edmonton. I have anchored the wire mesh every 200 mm into the stud wall, so it is held back fairly well, and I believe it will be very stable/secure.