Saturday, August 13, 2011

Epic Basement Action

It took me all day yesterday to recover from what went on in the basement Thursday night. I've been too tired to even tell you, omg!!!!1!

Our builder dudes were finished with their work on Tuesday, a bit earlier than was expected. In accordance with his scheme, Matt then spent all day Wednesday and Thursday down there hanging drywall in three additional rooms. Since our marital discord around this plan the other day, I had kept my mouth shut and waited to see what would happen. I was busy with life on the main floor, but I thought maybe it would work out or maybe he would change his mind once he got into the project, and then we would move ahead with our floor staining and painting.

Matt did tell me that he had done drywall before. I was like, "Really? When in our sixteen years of marriage, a time in which I've been pretty closely observing you, did you manage to get around and hang some drywall?" (That's me keeping my mouth shut.) He reminded me that he did construction one summer in college. Ah. I hadn't remembered that. I just remembered how tan and muscly he was when he got back to school. So yes, drywall. Drywall is hot!

And then, lo, he got it done, he got all the drywall in place. One thing I forgot in this situation is that Matt is like a force of nature. Once he decides to do something, something that is important to him, he will not stop. Honey badger don't care.

So it got to be Thursday evening and Matt had not surfaced from his basement activities. I knew that according to the timeline he had in his head, he wanted to have the first coat of stain on the concrete floor by bedtime. That meant that the drywall needed to be taped and have the first round of mudding done. Then the storage area--a  room we call the bomb shelter--needed to be cleared out because we're staining the whole floor, even in the unfinished areas. Then the bare floor needed to be cleaned, and cleaned well. Then the stain needed to be put on.

I decided that I better step in and help, and that this situation was covered in some portion of our marriage vows. I can't remember which part but I know I promised a buncha things. So I put the kids to bed Thursday night and went down into the depths about ten o'clock. Our bud (and Matt's coworker) Lincoln showed up to help.

Reader, we worked until 6:30 Friday morning. OMG. Yes, to the break of dawn!

It was not the all-nighter that dreams are made of.

First I got a crash course in taping drywall. It involved getting up and down off a stepladder a lot. Then I got to apply the joint compound. That was kind of fun--the joint compound is the consistency of heavy-duty frosting, and it was like decorating a fugly cake. When that was done I was kind of tired.

But nobody showed any sign of slowing down. The whole time Matt and I had been working on the drywall, Lincoln was emptying the bomb shelter. He picked things up and carried them out the back door for two hours. We chatted. They talked about work a lot. I frosted the walls.

Then that was done and the entire 1500 square feet of basement floor was cleared off. We swept. Then I vacuumed, and then Matt vacuumed. That white dust that sheetrock produces...oh man, we sucked so much of that off the floor and out of the crevices. At one point the vacuum cleaner gave signs of walking off the job, and Matt took it out into the backyard and gave it a talking to. Or cleaned the filter. Then Lincoln and I mopped, the old-fashioned way, with two buckets of water, one for clean water and soap, and the other to rinse.

Have you ever mopped a concrete slab? It does not make you feel like the smiling housewife in a 1950's commercial. More that the water disappears before your very eyes, soaked into the concrete, and you hardly feel like you're doing anything, except the mop and then the water and then you get filthy. And this feels like progress. Also, mopping is hard. It wasn't like schmooping or schmopping or whatever my hardwoods, with the cute microfiber mop head and the darling spray bottle. This mopping made my back sore. And it was a lot of floor and it's not smooth, frictionless floor.

Even so, morale was high. There was a definite esprit de corps, and many hands make light work and all. It just got later and later. And Matt showed no signs of stopping. Like the Oompa Loompas in that one part of that movie. Or like Kurtz. Dude was determined. Did I totally get the timeline and the urgency? Do I now? Not really, but I didn't want to be the weakest link.

Somehow in typing all this it doesn't seem like that much work. But at the time, I swear, I thought, "We few, we happy few! The bards will sing of what we have done this night!"

We got the floor clean, and it was dry almost immediately. Matt rigged up the sprayer with the concrete stain and put the first coat down. We sprayed our way out of the basement and up the stairs. I staggered into the dawn and realized that Laura was getting up for school. I got her on her way, showered, and fell asleep. And Hank, bless his sweet heart, slept until after ten o'clock.

Not much was accomplished on Friday. I was too tired to work out with my neighbor. But not too tired to roll over there and eat birthday cake with her family. I figure I burned a lot of calories mopping that concrete slab.

So the floor is coming along. Matt put a second coat of sealer on it this afternoon. I'll do a post with all the floor details, it might be edutaining for someone. Here's what it looked like after the first coat of sealant.

So that is what is going on below decks. And the whole night, Matt and I got along beautifully and never squabbled. Until today when he started talking about something crazy and I was all, uh, not on my watch beeyotch, and he was all ??? and I said, um, I didn't mean for that to sound as negative as it did and he said, yeah, you couldn't have meant for that to sound as negative as it did.

I'm paraphrasing.

Longest post ever.

Happy Saturday, my dears!


Marie said...

OMG!! I am exhausted from just reading it! The floor already looks really cool!

Anonymous said...

I remember home-improvement all-nighters in my parents' house. I applaud yr tenacity xo

laura said...

Oh thank you Jesus my DIY all-nighters are a thing of the past.

Your floor is beautiful! I'm equally jealous and inspired but not enough to it myself.

Elizabeth said...

You know? I don't even know what to say. You guys are astounding is all I'll say.

delaine said...

Such stick-to-itiveness! Good job! A man and woman with a plan can do anything. I bet you're really sore right about now, but well done! We will come see it when we can. Maybe you'll have the basement painted by then. Maybe concrete staining is what we need to do in the Florida house, huh?

Common Household Mom said...

Reading this, it does seem like that much work. Or more. I am saying OMG (which I rarely say) and wishing I were a bard. When we had an addition put on our house the builders hung the drywall and the floor guy installed the floors. All we had to do was paint, and that about did us in.

Aimee said...

Color me very, VERY impressed. Like lots.

6:30 AM? You would've lost me aroun 1:00, and by that point I'd have been speaking gibberish and screwed up at least ten important tasks.


Amy said...

It looks good! Glad y'all are making use of the basement--so much space!

And yes, I am way impressed. Don't think I could've made it...but then again my kids would never NO NEVER sleep past 10. ;) You band of brothers!

Becky said...

Oh my geez, y'all. Matt just came to me and said, "In a minute can you come down to the basement and hold the flashlight and not tell me what I'm doing is crazy?"

I told him I could do at least half of that.

Hootie said...

Re: your last comment. At least he said, "down to the basement," and not "up to the roof."

Becky said...

Ha! Yes! Good thing.

Also he was wearing kneepads.

Star said...

Floor looks gorgeous! Saw something similar at a friend's house in Milan, Italy. It was sealed with a layer of resin, and is gorgeous. Looking forward to the edutainment version.

Beth said...

There is no way on Earth that a) I would help until 6:30 am or b) Steve would take on a DIY task that would require working til 6:30 am. Please remind Matt how lucky he is.

I'm not sure he gets to meet his deadline, though, just because bedtime got pushed back into the next day.

AlGalMom said...

wow that floor looks amazing! and when you said that the walls still needed to be taped and mudded I had sympathy exhaustion for you. you guys are amazing.

Cassie said...

That floor is beast. As the kids say. I lurrrrrrve it.

Amy said...

I really, really want to do that to my basement floor.

Or maybe I should say, I really want that to BE done to my basement floor because DANG it is gorgeous... but I'm pretty convinced that neither I nor my marriage would be likely to survive the night you describe!

nova said...

That sounds like sheer hell. At least you both survived, nobody murdered anybody. That's a good thing!