Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Foundation Wall Up

Some of us were barely out of bed this morning when the block crew arrived. It was nearly dark. I suppose we could have stayed in bed and just watched them, since we have been sleeping on the 3-season porch right next to the addition. A whole swarm of guys arrived with all their equipment and had the wall finished by noon.

Next up is to pour the floor.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A House Full of Holes

If we weren't committed yesterday, then we are really committed today. I had a guy come out and cut a large hole in the foundation wall of our house, and we took out a large section of the 10-inch thick concrete to make an access hole into the eventual crawl space under the addition. Now I just have to move some of the plumbing that is directly in front of the hole (visible in the picture).

Why, oh why, does every job eventually involve plumbing??

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Big Dig

I guess we're committed now. There's a big hole in the back yard and the place is a mess. I took a day off work because there were some things to keep track of so I got to document the whole process in pictures:

Starting Out. First thing that came up was the buried power, phone and Ethernet cables running to the barn.

Oops. We knew the old septic system was here somewhere, but after over 25 years of non-use, we figured the tank would be pretty much dry. It wasn't. When we broke through the lid, it was full within a foot of the top.

Kerkstra Septic Tank Cleaning was there within a half hour, and a half hour after that, the tank was empty and the sides had been collapsed in.

Progress once again. Here the hole is almost complete.

By now all the trucks and equipment had made mincemeat out of the lawn.

The footing guys came a short while later and poured the footings.

End of Day 1. Progress.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Home Improvement

When we bought our house 19 years ago, the one feature that Deb wasn't crazy about was the kitchen. The location of the house was great, it had great "bone structure" (although the wall and floor coverings were badly in need of updating), and it fit our family well. The galley kitchen was passable as long as there was only one cook. And for a long time there was only one cook.

So we've lived with this non-ideal kitchen for all these years, making several cosmetic updates. When dinner guests come over, the arrangement of the house naturally causes all the incoming guests to congregate in the kitchen, which makes for extreme congestion, just when the meal comes out of the oven.

We now have two cooks. Abigail, now that she has acquired the language and has become more comfortable in our family, has gravitated to the kitchen as one of the places she likes to be. She likes to cook. She loves "cook's privilege" (the cook gets to lick out the bowl). So we finally decided that the kitchen was in need of a more extreme makeover. After a few months of planning, we're moving ahead with the project. The kitchen is going to grow.

Along with the kitchen, the adjoining half bath is moving, and we're adding a room onto the back of the house, a sort-of homeschool room or sitting room that adjoins the kitchen and shares open space with the kitchen. In the picture below, the wall area between the two red lines will be removed and extended out about 19 feet into the back yard.

The permits are in place, the plans are drawn up, and excavation begins on Monday, September 27. We'll post pictures as this progresses.