Although we technically started demolishing the basement in September when we were looking for the source of a most horrible smell, we have started making some serious progress. Ben got in on the action and took out part of one wall. Most of you haven't seen this house, but it has some of the strangest features. Perhaps I'll start cataloging them when the blogging gets slow. If I had a nickel for every time I've said "What were they thinking when they..." I'd be able to pay for remodelling the basement. The strangest thing we've run across by far is the octopus wiring which makes tearing out walls a bit scary. No one got shocked though, which is a good thing since we really don't like the ER here.
Anyway, the outer walls of the "finished" basement were panelling overtop styrofoam insulation. Very easy to remove. However, behind the styrofoam we found a bizarre purple mold. This one is not a health risk. Oh, and a few termite trails, but no significant damage. The sill plates are sound (unlike those in my studio which Jay has already replaced). We're starting to be able to visualize what the space will look like when it's finished. I'm visualizing it finished by next winter so we can have some extra space on those cold winter days.