Nor was our basement cleaned in a weekend. But thanks to your votes in our poll on Friday, I was at least able to put a serious dent in cleaning up the disaster zone that is our basement. It may not be anywhere near complete, and you may have seen the "it gets worse before it gets better" style video from the weekend, but I wanted to give you an update none the less. I was true to my word and listened to your votes, working only on this house-related endeavor over the weekend. Thanks for the inspiration that helped me to get my rear in gear on cleaning/organizing.

I'd also like to apologize to you if you're tuning in today expecting a big storm window build and reveal post. (You might remember, it's the project I publicly declared to my wife and the world would be finished by January 31.) If so, I've sadly let you down...and that makes me a Sad Panda. A few of our other 2012 resolutions got in the way of that one. I'm still very much working on them, but it's going to be a little while longer before they're complete. I'll start posting about the storms next week to show you some of our progress. Speaking of, does anyone know of a good place online where I can order low E coated glass? I'm having a hard time finding a supplier.

Anyhow, in lieu of major storm window progress, here's an update on what we were able to accomplish in the basement. Prior to this weekend I was able to make some progress on cleaning out a whole bunch of trash. More than anything I was able to free up some much needed space to move around. Even though I've been viciously called a wood hoarder by my wife, I was able to overcome my illness (it's an illness you know) and bundle up a collection of sticks I wouldn't be needing any longer to put out for the trash.

And I did all of this without having a breakdown or stomping off in a verbal tirade. It's no Hoarders-style dumpster full of trash, that's for sure. But I just want to know one thing...Wendy, are you proud of me?

One of the worst issues with our basement from the before photos was all of the wood laying on the floor or stacked up along the shelves. It accumulated over time and was arranged in such a manner that I couldn't easily access anything that was actually being stored on the shelves. If we ever needed the crock pot or a tube of caulk, it would involve about 15 minutes of delicately moving items until I could reach what we needed. It was not fun, nor was it an efficient method of storage.

Stacked along the shelves is a combination of wood being actively used for the storm windows, old oak flooring we took out of a room years ago, and several original 13' lengths of random width heart pine that there is no way I'm tossing, but also no way I'm using it anytime soon.

Consider the photo above as our before, and here's our "sorta after" from the opposite angle.

Do you see that grey on the bottom of the photo? That's floor!!!! Yes, the stuff you can walk on without tripping on stuff that's on top of it. And that thing on the right, those are shelves where you put stuff for storage, and then have the option of picking it up when you need it. What a novel idea. 

It's far from done, but I can actually move around and, you know, get work done. Also, look at that super cool leaded glass window I found while cleaning stuff out. I almost forgot we had that. I'll have to figure out an inventive use for it.

The old oak flooring that was stacked up and leaning on the shelving was always in the way. I can't count how many times I either tripped on it or knocked it over. We don't have an immediate need for it, but may at some point, so I organized it all very nicely and wrapped it in plastic wrap to put in the attic. Worst case we'll just donate it to Community Forklift in a few years if we find we don't have a need for it.

As I said, we're not done and won't be anytime soon, but at least I'm to a point where I can actually navigate the basement and feel like it's at least a little organized. Though I'm at a point where I've totally blown the storm widow deadline, I feel like this basement effort was worth it. Now I need to get hopping on the storm windows before today's cold and windy weather turns into a sunny Spring day. 

Did you accomplish anything big this weekend that you're rather proud of? Let us know in the comments. And please let me know if you know of a place online to find glass for our storms.

Comments 10


1/31/2012 at 12:10 PM
Hi, I stumbled onto your blog and really enjoy it. As a fellow wood/tool hoarder, spare time woodworker, and engiNERD, I'll be checking back often. Keep up the good work.

(The wainscoting project looks great. The panel that transitions from the landing to the stairs is impressive.)

So glad you found us. I find the nerdiness/woodworking interests are not too far removed from one another. Regardless, I have a lot of fun with both.
1/31/2012 at 1:57 PM
Nice job Alex!! Looking good so far!!
Thanks. Minor progress, but progress indeed. :-)
Minor progress is still progress! It's looking much better. :)
1/31/2012 at 7:57 PM

My husband, who is a retired home inspector, thinks that the low E glass might be a factory thing, if it is the glass with the argon/UV filter and would have to be sealed at the factory. He thinks it will be very difficult to find someone to sell it to you without the frame. Most double pane windows, except Pella, have a slight green tint to them. You probably already know all this.

The first set of storms windows we put on our house was plexiglass. We discarded those after several years and had single-pane glass made. The glass can be cleaned with solutions we could never use on the plexiglass. He is heading a project right now to put storm windows on an 1839 house in Jonesboro, GA and they are going with the single-pane glass. We know from having the windows on our own house the air space between the original window and the storm window will definitely help with energy conservation. If you find a source we are interested and hope you will share on your blog.
1/31/2012 at 7:58 PM
Great job on the basement.
2/1/2012 at 9:57 AM
Looking good!

I love the two leaded glass windows. Where do you find them and what are your plans for them?
2/3/2012 at 8:30 PM
Idea for the leaded glass window: I saw this a while back, and I've actually seen two different versions of the same thing. Turn it into a mirror and frame it.

The way they did this is with a relatively new (and not necessarily easy to find) "mirror spray paint". It sounds far fetched, but it gives a rather nice antique mirror look, and the spray paint is only around 5-10$. See:
Wow, that's totally cool! Thanks for sharing this idea JC!
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