Thursday, June 14, 2007

Level ground, and a (sort of) skylight!

The pace is definitely picking up, not that you all would know that, since we've been so exhausted by the end of the day that sitting down to post an entry is one too many things.. Sorry about that.

Although the scope of the foundation project is growing, the need for it is also becoming more and more evident. We had our buddy Leo come over with a bobcat and regrade the lot -- it sloped significantly toward the house causing water to pool inside, and it was about a foot too high against the house which was rotting all the wood it was covering.

Take a look at what's left of the sill plate.. not much! The dirt came at least 2" above it almost all the way around the house

And here you can see the bricks of the foundation with no mortar at all left between them.. we've undermined the footing on that back stair a little, but we'll be repouring it anyway

The only problem we ran into was when Leo caught the *incredibly shallow* water main under the edge of the bobcat and put a huge kink in it.. it turned out not to be a big deal, because when we followed it out and dug it out a little, it turned out to be an old line. Our relief was short-lived though, because the real water main was just as shallow! and he got that the next day. So this weekend, on top of everything else, we need to shut the water off, swap out that section of copper, and solder it in.

Leo pulled 120 cubic yards of dirt out, and it could've easily been much more.. we had to leave the edges of the yard high because of the fences around, so we'll need to put a bit of a retaining wall in even after I load it up with lots of pretty compost and garden soil. Conveniently enough, we've recently recovered enough bricks to make a mini wall of China! Between what was dug up and what's left of our chimney, we're also planning to put in a brick driveway!

Here's our lovely new skylight shaft, i.e. the gaping hole where the chimney was. Check out all the lovely rot around the opening.. there was nothing in the way of flashing there at all, and it was actually the only place in the house where water was coming in during the pouring rain storms. You can see a little bit of a rats nest we couldn't get to before.. with the chimney gone we can give the whole area a good spraying with the bleach/vinegar solution.

We're planning to run the mechanicals through this space, and Dan came up with the brilliant idea of using what's left of the space on the main floor as a coat closet!

And finally, I took some exciting video of the bricks coming down from the chimney, but I don't know how to rotate it.. so tilt your head to left and stand back so they don't fall on your head:

1 comment:

Kitt said...

Yay! That does indeed look like progress. And you can make raised beds with those bricks. In all your free time ...