There is a whole team of guys working on my house while I work. It's rather surreal, sitting in my office while the noise below make the house shake like a minor earthquake is in the area.
Our first project has kicked off today. We are starting with a new foundation, since, well, that's seems like the base of all of it. And as part of that kickoff, I wanted to show you the "before" pictures of what it looks like now.
This is a very nice specimen of how the foundation was designed to be when it was originally done. On the dirt, we have this layer of stones from the site, cemented together. On top of that is a nice 2x4 that the wood planks of the walls come out of. This little section of the foundation is in very good condition. We will still be replacing it, as a partial foundation repair would not really do any good.
Here you can see some of the worst of the foundation. The 2x4 that is supposed to be on the rock base is no longer there, and the plants from the outside are growing into the remaining space. As such, the walls that the whole house is supported on are water-damaged and rotting away. Yikes! In other parts of the foundation, the 2x4 board is warped or rotted or otherwise not structurally sound.
Here you can see how the outside wall of the kitchen is just balanced precariously on some rocks that were set there. No cement holding the stones together, no 2x4 board that the walls are nailed into for support. Nice stuff.
Today is the day that all the permits are in place for the "Earthquake Retrofit" work that we're having done. I don't know why they call it a retrofit -- they will be completely replacing the foundation all the way around the house. But, whatever. I'll take it if it means that the house is ready for its next 100 years when it's all over. Regardless, today the 5-man crew is working to support the house on these 4x4 posts -- shoring up the perimeter, they say. What I understand is that this is the first step towards demolishing the existing foundation. It's sort of exciting, not because I like the idea of having a temporary foundation for a couple of week, but because I know what the next projects are once this is done, and those are the fun and exciting ones.
I'll have to publish posts chronicling the progress through our construction/remodeling phase of life. Any lessons you learned that you would like to share would be of great interest to me.
The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers
3 months ago