As readers of this blog will know, I’ve had to tear down a portion of the basement (that which we call the annex) due to leakage earlier this year. The pros came by several weeks ago to make sure the leaks don’t happen again. Since then, I’ve been rebuilding. In recent weeks (months?), I’ve concentrated on removing all the fiberglass insulation and wood turned damp, mouldy, mouse-poop infested and generally in violation of the building code thanks to a failed reno 20 years ago.  It’s amazing how long rot will accumulate before it becomes visible.

With fresh insulation and vapour barrier up a few weeks ago on the surfaces facing the exterior, that portion of the basement became ready for a Canadian winter. In the last few days, I’ve been rebuilding the parts that didn’t face the immediate exterior, replacing really crappy 2×2 framing (put up by a moron with delusions of adequacy) with proper 2×4 studs and rewiring it in accordance to code, where before it was an incompetent handyman’s disaster.

Take this as a plea from someone who’s not on his first house and not on his first reno: if you don’t know the local building code requirements for such basics as framing, wiring and insulation, put down the tool belt. As Mike Holmes likes to say, make it right. If you don’t know how to make it right, just don’t. Please, don’t. Call in folks who have a clue. That way, you won’t have to fight off the bad karma guys like me are sending out to all inept DIY wannabes as we fix problems that shouldn’t have occurred in the first place.

At least now, we’ll be getting workshop and laundry rooms that are not only up to code, but are also functional and good-looking. By the way, after my insulation efforts, those two rooms are the warmest in our 40+ year old house. I think that says something.  Once I’m done, I might just make the workshop my number one hang-out during the truly brutal January and February cold spells.

Howling Stars (Decker’s War Book 4) is currently under my editor’s red pen. I’ve not received an ETA on comments, but expect her to be done within the next two weeks. In the meantime, I’ve picked up the pen on A Splash of Blood once again, between bouts of framing, wiring and all the rest of the work needed to refinish the basement annex, but this time doing it right.  Between writing and building, life is good.  Using brain and hands in equal measure is a balance worth achieving.