To make things simple and rather than send countless pictures of the perfect "Summer Vacation" I thought it would be nice to share some of what is going on with family and friends using the web. This has suddenly become what I call the "Big Dig" project. The house was plagued by basement leaks among other problems. Nothing but nothing is ever simple. Once digging the foundation began multiple problems began to surface. A totally rusted gas line to the house, the main water line severely restricted (now I know why the pressure always sucked), an ancient no longer used buried septic system (about 50 years old) still containing 2,000 gallons of water to pump out and backfill with dirt and other problems too numerous to mention as I am too tired. Oh yeah, the restricted water line required digging 7 feet down in the tree lawn as the shut off pipe was misaligned. That was fun! :) Digging a tree lawn while trying to avoid the city gas line was a challenge in a small area.
The below images are called thumbnails. The visitor clicks on the image to expand it, then uses the browser's Back Button (<) to return to this page. These images represent the early on efforts. I hope to set up more images for this page in a few days better showing the progress made.
Most of the above images were in the beginning and many show the clay block used in the original foundation. The house is well over 65 years old. The rusted gas line (still needing replaced) is seen in several of the images. Nothing like surprises! The layers of mudding are finally done over much of the original clay block. This is seen in the below images. Once the mud is dry, a layer of tar and a vapor barrier will be added. The guys did a magnificent job with the mud in sealing the block. Notice the one sample of drain pipe completely clogged with roots above, pretty amazing what a tree will do for water. This mornings rain, though well needed put a damper on much progress today. Additionally it can be seen the sill area below the front window is totally rotted. Guessing we should fix that. Guessing replacing the front siding is in order.
As can be seen a simple project has turned into a major undertaking. Countless surprises continue to surface as things progress and nothing is ever simple. Following Phase 1 the front siding will be removed and replaced. The mudding that was done today following the rain is curing well and soon, as mentioned the tar and vapor sealing will be done.
Many, many thanks to friends who helped and provided equipment for all this work. Special thanks to the forever helpful Huffman family for all their help and effort, without whom this would have been impossible. More to come in a few days (I hope). The Crew may be seen below:
As of today Thursday July 12th at 11:45 AM the city paid a visit. We had gotten a permit for the work and the building inspector showed up to inspect the work. The work done was approved! At this writing the big ass holes are being filled and the piping was also approved including the footer and downspout drains. The sound of fresh gravel being added is indeed music to my ears. Over 25 tons of gravel is now being used to close this part of the big dig of 2007.
Following digging out and reworking the entire foundation, we begin phase two. This involves residing about 70% of the house and replacing all remaining old windows. We thought this would also be a good time to replace our 45 year old furnace. Phase two also includes ripping out several walls and removing all the old knob and tube wiring in the house walls. We have actually to date filled a forty cubic yard dumpster and expect to fill another. We expect to be ripping out walls for quite sometime.
The main front sill had considerable rot and needed completely ripped out. We found surprise after surprise however the before and after reflect one hell of a lot of work.
A Front Comparison:
More to come as time allows!
Generator & Air Conditioniing
Rear Views of House
Computer Room / Office and Kitchen Demolition