I’m a little hesitant to call this Day 1 because it really isn’t. It’s probably more appropriate to say this is the restart of Day 1. In October of 2015, I made an announcement on Facebook to all my friends and family to let them know we were starting the project to excavate the basement. It’s hard to admit that I paid a contractor up front without any work completed. So yes, let’s call this Day 1: The Restart because this blog is all about salvaging and restoration…and restarts.
I got a call from Art, the house moving contractor, on Thursday to say they are going to deliver some beams and supports and to “punch a hole in your foundation.” Punch a hole in your foundation. It took me a minute or two to process this because after a year of waiting this project was finally going to happen. And once a hole is put into the foundation, there’s for sure no turning back!
This is not an inexpensive project to complete, but nothing these days is inexpensive. It is what it is. The house just needs to be done.
Just to refresh your memory, this is what the basement currently looks like:
Aside from the “scary” look to the basement, the mortar that is between those stones is crumbling away and allowing a few rodents to take up residence in my home. It’s also sinking, which is making for cracked walls and windows and doors that won’t shut.
I came home after work on Friday and found the supports and cribbing had been delivered.
The I-beams waiting by the corn crib.
The cribbing which will be used to support the house once the foundation is removed.
Once the basement is gone, there will be nothing under the house but the wood cribbing and steel beams. My kids and I will have to move out of our house until the project is complete. Art and another contractor both told me they could fix it so we could live in the house while it’s going through this process. While they have done that before, it’s not an ideal situation.
When an old foundation is excavated everything in the house must be disconnected. This means the water, electric, gas, sewer and drain lines all have to be cut off. Because our furnace is in the basement, the furnace has to be removed, as well. It’s the first week in October and while we’ve had a nice, warm fall, those days are numbered and it will soon be getting pretty chilly. And see that rich, black dirt in the picture above? Yeah–it’s going to be a very dirty process. So it’s just best to move out for awhile.
My in-laws have graciously allowed us to move into their house while our house is being repaired. We are so grateful for their generosity and feel fortunate that they have a house that’s big enough to hold us and a lot of our “stuff” for the next 4-6 weeks. We will each even have our own bedroom. They live in a town about 10 miles away from us. We will still have to come out here daily to feed our dog and cats so the extra traveling may not be all that convenient, but as experience has taught us, we can make anything work for a little while.
Which means this weekend, we will be spending our time finishing up packing a month’s worth of clothes and other belongings that we will need. Once the project goes beyond this point, we will no longer be able to get into the house. Now…to figure out how to pack for Indian summer, fall and potentially a little winter weather since it will be November before we can return to our home.
Hang with me, this is sure to be an interesting journey!
Salvaging A Farmhouse is a series of blog posts that chronicle my experience of renovating and reclaiming our 1900 farmhouse. This is a project that is over a decade in the making. We were working towards some pretty serious renovations on the house until my husband became sick with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and died 9 weeks after his diagnosis. My kids and I have been left with the task of completing what we started all those years ago. Every house and every family have a story and this is the story of ours.