Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Wise Man Built His House Upon a Rock

So we're putting on an addition and therefore we needed to extend the foundation of the house. If you remember that concrete slab we removed that's the same place where the new foundation now stands. We've had tons of help with this stage of the addition. The first step of course was digging for the footer.

Then we prepped the ground to pour the footer. In the month of October we had so much rain that the pour was pushed back for a couple weeks. At one point the entire footer was filled with so much water that I used a wet/dry vac with a make-shift filter to suck out all the mud water. I packed in gravel and put in rebar to prepare for the pour.

Next we poured the footer. The truck was too tall for the power line so we "safely" propped it up with a 14' 2x6. The truck got as close as possible and started pouring.

Maurice is putting the finishing touches on the footer.
After the footer dried, Maurice laid the block for the foundation.
After the block was laid, we dug out for the crawl space. And by "we" I mean, Devin and Maurice (two high schools guy from the church).
Now we're ready to start framing!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Making Progress

Thanks to some helping hands we got quite a bit done this past weekend. We are nearing the end of the demolition phase - we've extracted nearly all of the ductwork in the house and have removed the walls that are being moved. We have also torn out a substantial amount of the original knob & tube wiring, although there is still a good deal of this in the house.

Taking some steps in the right direction, the upstairs bathroom is making some progress. We are expanding the bathroom by moving a wall back about two feet. We removed the existing wall and all of the plaster on the walls and were able to frame up the new wall.

On another front, we framed in the new opening for the french doors between the living room and den. We also began work on the new closet doors in the master bedroom. A beam was also added in the basement last week to support some sagging floor joists - although Tara says that the sloping floors add to the character of the house. :)

In summary, lots of changes in one weekend. This we like!

Thanks to all who have helped so far, especially Scott C., Lyle T., Larry G., John E., and Dean C. for your help this past week/weekend.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two plumbers later...

When we bought the house there was quite a bit of standing water in the basement. We determined that there were two problems: 1)a leaky basement and 2)a clogged floor drain. After some advice from one plumber I dug a trench from one side of the basement to the other. Turns out I got some bad advice...and now the first plumber won't call me back.

So I called another plumber to finish the job. Since the trench was already dug, we ended up replacing 95% of the cast iron drain lines in the house including the 4" vent pipe going through the roof. How much did I need to replace you ask? Only about 25% - yes, that's correct we replaced 70% more than we needed to because of bad advice.

Moral of the story: Don't take the plumber's "guess" on where the main sewage line exits the house.
On a positive note: I found a good, trustworthy plumber.

Concrete Removal

The first step in prepping for the addition was removing a 6' x 20' concrete pad and footer. (The pad was also sloped toward the house and as a result a corner of the house had severe damage - so bad that the ends of three floor joists and the sill plate were completely rotten resulting in needing to jack up the house at that corner - and that's another story...)
One of the church members has a masonry company and offered his services. Using his gas-powered wet saw he was able to score the concrete in less than 20 minutes.
Way to go Maurice!
After he scored the pad, we tried prying it up by hand. Two words - Epic Failure.
It was time to bring in the big guns...
In less than two hours we had completely removed the concrete pad.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Prepwork for the addition

We are putting an addittion on the side of the house. It will be approx. 6' x 20'. We had to remove a concrete pad and footer. Larry M. did a great job with the BobCat! At one point he had the BobCat on two wheels while removing a large piece of concrete.

More digging for the footer and foundation next...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009