When it rains, it, um, floods

So we’ve now officially been in our house for over a week. Exciting.

Now we have light switch plates and kitchen cabinet handles. Still no refrigerator or stove. AJ Madison, which is based in Brooklyn, is going to take 2 weeks to deliver our appliances (they were ordered last week and we found out they won’t be delivered until the end of next week). Just found out from my contractor that the refrigerator is not in stock so they will wait to deliver everything.

So two stoves won’t really matter anyway because there’s still no gas (gas test was scheduled for today, hopefully authorization for meters will come in the next few).

But definitely a leaky front area of the basement. Currently, we have lined the floor with giant food trays to catch the water from who knows where the hell it’s dripping it just seems like its dripping everywhere.

Turns out we need to redo all of the concrete on the front steps because water is seeping through the cracks. Not sure why a completely cracked, leaky front stoop was not included in our renovation estimate, but there you have it. So that’s next on the where-are-we-going-to-find-$1,000-for-this-repair list.

For now, the giant trays are holding up all right.

photo 5

Also the back area of the basement flooded this weekend. Like a few inches. I was unpacking some boxes and the studio started smelling bad-funny so I went to check behind the door and well, yeah. It was awful.

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I bailed out the water with the dog bowl (only bowl we had) and frantically texted my boyfriend and our contractor.

Our basement is flooding! Help! What can we do?

There should be a drain, he said.

It’s not draining! It looks like the concrete slopes down towards the basement door! And the new gutter is flowing right into the basement level part of the backyard! (like this!)

photo 4

In between all of this, I’m running up and down the stairs to pour the flood water into the tenant floor sink (I.e. the only kitchen sink we have in the house right now) via an empty paint bucket.

We can’t do too much about it. Maybe re-concrete it so it redirects the right way but I’m not sure that’s even possible.

Can we look on Monday?


Then I have a flash of duh. I realize Β i have never even seen or noticed the drain he is talking about. I go outside (luckily just unpacked my rain boots) and lo and behold, there are a bunch of dead leaves covering the drain.

I kick them away with my boots and watch all the water drain away in seconds. Seconds. Wow, that drain really works.

I text the contractor and my boyfriend, equally relieved and sheepish for my panic. I check the drain in paranoia all night to make sure a pile of leaves didn’t get blown on it.

Speaking of trees, we are having Lawrence the tree guy remove the tree in the backyard this week (thanks Janet for awesome referral, he was really reasonable and also really knowledgeable! We saw three three guys and Lawrence was the only one who was no bullshit and you trusted that he knew what he was doing) so hopefully there will be less tree debris to fall on drains and also less bugs.

And maybe room for that garden we keep talking about putting together. Eventually maybe someday.

I think right now we would just be really excited to afford a couch after all the extra post-renovation renovations.

Yay homeownership!

Seeing this stuff though does make it feel worth it:

Second floor kitchen – what it actually looks like under all that blue tape! And with handles for the cabinets!
photo 1

The washer half of our washer/dryer pair! I haven’t had one of these in my house in 10 years!! We are just waiting for a stacking kit to come in so we can put them on top of each other (they don’t carry those things in stores, for the record):
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2nd floor shower doors – custom made because the shower has weird measurements. They actually look awesome:
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Our kitchen counter tops – we went with a sparkly black granite that’s hard to capture on camera, but believe me, it looks amazing in real life!
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Our bedroom light – we both giggled when we saw this light on the Home Depot site and it was just random and kitschy enough for us to be totally into it:
photo 2

Yay homeownership!


11 thoughts on “When it rains, it, um, floods

  1. glad it turned out you do have a drain! we have a birdcage-like thing that sits on ours so even if leaves pile up the water can eventually get through, that might help in a pinch.

    • It was kind of all over the place, actually. Our tree is pretty small (probably around 10 inches in diameter at the widest part), so it wasn’t too outrageous. We got three estimates and 2 of 3 wouldn’t even entertain the idea of removing the stump. For non-stump removal, I got between $400-$600 quotes.

      The guys we ended up going with charged us $750 and removed the stump. They were super professional and really on top of the whole job, right down to taping up the basement walls and floors and cleaning up afterwards. You can call Emil at (917) 443-3277 for a quote. He was the one who ended up doing the job and works with the Lawrence guy we originally got the quote from.

      Good luck!

  2. I live in Seattle and I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now. I’ve never been through a renovation but I am amazed at how crazy the whole process is. It does seem you are taking all of the setbacks and extra expenses in stride, so kudos to you! And thanks for sharing. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts.

    • Thanks for reading, Lisa! I thought we picked the hardest possible renovation situation (full gut, multiple housing violations, etc) but from what I’m hearing from others, this is kind of just what it’s like. Which in a weird way, made me feel better, like I wasn’t totally crazy πŸ™‚ if you ever decide to go through a renovation, please let me know if you have any questions!

    • Hi Priscilla! We actually have already rented the upstairs unit, but I do have a friend who is looking for a 3rd roommate for his apartment. It’s in bed-stuy off the g train and its $780/month – fully renovated, central air and heat, rooftop access, etc. I have been to his place and its really nice. It’s a July 1st move in and is month to month until sept, then he would have the option to sign a lease. Not sure how soon your son is looking to move, but if you think he might be interested, let me know and I can send you my friend’s contact info!

      • Thanks so much for getting back to me. I think he wants to stay in Bushwick, he works in Chelsea so is very attached to the L train. He has 2 roommates now and was hoping for a place of his own. Thanks anyway.
        Love following your progress,
        Priscilla in the Catskills.

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