It began February 15th and just got completed yesterday. I didn't feel comfortable blogging about it until the lockbox the contractor had been using was gone, and the security hinge was on the door, which really doesn't matter, since the door won't open if it's too humid.
I don't have before pictures. I did make a video, for my own records. If you were over 6' 2", you could not stand up straight in many parts of the basement. Half of the ceiling had been torn down during the 2007 Renovation and the floor, baseboards and wall were ruined in the flood of 2001, and water incidents that seemed to occur every year. What's a water incident? Oh, a couple of times it was the sump pump's float getting caught in its own cords and not triggering the pump, letting the basement flood. Another time the pipe flew off the sump pump. That allowed for 5 inches of water. And other times it was just heavy rains lifting the water table and water seeping through the wall and floor.
And the water is one of the reasons why we didn't dig down. When mentioning the renovation to others, a common question was if we were digging it out. No. The cellar is strictly for storage and laundry. And since both the Help and I are under 6 ft., we are okay with it being a 'short people basement.' Yet we did gain a few inches when portions of the beams were shaved off. Other reason for not digging down was the price. We just got the final bill and the whole thing cost, rounding up $32K. A huge chunk of that was the french drain, which was needed to deal with the water.
Anyway, more tomorrow in part 2.