Touring a Neighborhood in Melrose

Project: Basement Finishing and Family Space, Episode 1, Part 1



In Melrose, MA, a family with two young sons needs extra room and looks to Bob and his team to repurpose their damp basement for expanded living space. Homeowner Sarah Monzon shows Bob the backyard of the 1921 gambrel with a stone retaining wall they created to manage the slope for the kids’ play yard. She explains how the exterior has water intrusion and moisture buildup problems. Inside, Cyrus Beasley rips out the under-stair closet and assesses the stair support required while the plumber disconnects the old soapstone sink. The Monzons then clear out years of junk and demolition waste before calling 1-800-Got-Junk to stack, sort, and dispose of everything to donation centers, recycling sites, and the dump for a set price. Larry Janesky of Basement Systems reviews the exterior drainage problems of the home with Bob and then explains how they will reduce moisture on the inside. The crew breaks up the concrete floor to create an interior drainage trench, applies Clean Walls to isolate the stone walls and send moisture runoff to the drainage trench and sump, installs Thermal Dry radiant barrier behind finished walls to prevent moisture transfer, and creates a hole for the sump.

Part 1: Touring a Neighborhood in Melrose
Bob reviews how suburban real estate values have skyrocketed in the last couple of years and talks about Melrose, MA, a Boston suburb and the site of this new project. Part of the town's appeal is due to beautiful antique homes mixed with houses built around the turn of the century. Bob talks with Linda O'Koniewski of RE/MAX Heritage, a local real estate broker, about the home where the work is being done. O'Koniewski was raised near the home, which was built in 1921. She sold the home to the current owners, Ricardo and Sarah Monzon. The home has fine woodworking and craftsmanship on the inside that Bob says points to its being a builder house rather than an architect-designed home. Bob talks with homeowner Sarah Monzon about some of the improvements that have been made to the property. Monzon points out the retaining wall they put in the backyard to create an area where the children can play. Plants were put in that will give the backyard some more privacy when fully grown. Monzon explains that the children, ages four and five, have done some damage to the lawn so they are looking for solutions. The backyard does not have a fence, which Bob points out as a concern with a busy street and young children. Monzon reviews some problems with the exterior of the home which include mildew buildup and damage from squirrels and birds' nests. Monzon tells Bob about flood damage they experienced in the basement, something they would like to address and prevent in the future. Homeowner Sarah Monzon explains the project and how they plan to expand the interior of the home by renovating the basement and adding another bathroom. This will allow more space for their children and active family life. Monzon shows how the basement looked before they began the renovation, full of unwanted books, clothes, household items and appliances that had accumulated over the years. The homeowners had 1-800-GOT-JUNK take away unwanted items. Monson talks about plumbing issues and problems with the basement stairs.
Part 2: Removing Unwanted Junk and Debris
Part 3: Fixing the Home's Gutter System

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