Friday, October 02, 2009

Our old house is a bit saggy (but what do you expect from an 84 year old?)

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Our house sags. If you were to drop a marble on our floor, it would roll to middle of the house, because our floors are ever-so-subtly bowl-shaped. If you were to take a shower in our pink clawfoot tub, you would notice that all the water doesn't drain out, because the drain-side of the tub is on an uphill slope.

This -- and the current lack of earthquake retrofitting -- is why we are having our foundation replaced. It's time for our little house to get some loving maintenance. Our contractors -- one of whom lost a house much like ours in the 1989 earthquake -- cannot believe that our house is still standing. No exaggeration, they hardly needed to use the jack-hammers in order to pull apart our old concrete foundation.




If all goes well, and today isn't a state-workers' furlough day, we should have a building inspector over at the house, and then the new concrete can be poured. The wooden form in this photo will hold the newly-poured concrete.

I'm really pleased with how gently (jack-hammers notwithstanding) the contractors have done the demolition. The only impact of wrenching our house off the old foundations are a single crack in one of our (already cracked) walls and a shifting of our front door. The guys assure us that the before the project ends, we'll have a door that opens easily and a bathtub that actually drains.




(This has to be one of the worst photos I've ever shared on the blog. What it shows is the underside of our house, looking from Jo and Mandy's driveway, through to our driveway. If you look closely, you can see Robb's car's tires on the top-right of the photograph.)

13 comments:

KT said...

BEAUTIFUL!

StrongDecorativePaint said...

There is nothing like the security of knowing that your foundation is new and good. very very cool!

Lynne Rutter said...

good place to hid a time capsule!

TaylorM said...

I thought the pictures were kind of cool!

ArtGekko said...

My mom's 120-year-old house has serious sag to it. There isn't a square door frame in the the whole of the upper floor, and some rooms have a definite Willy-Wonka quality to them. And this is after (okay, 40+ years after) they jacked the main level floor up 6-10" in the middle when they first bought it. She's kept up with replacing the furnaces, roof and siding, so it's really not too bad, given its age.

Have you ever read the children's story "The Little House" by Virginia Lee Burton? Aside from being brilliantly illustrated, it's a neat little story that reminds me a bit of your cute little house. You won't be able to move it back out into the hills covered with daisies and apple trees, but you are certainly going to love it up good and make it happy! :)

LunaSea said...

The sappy sentimentalist in me loves hearing that you and Robb will be starting your journey into home-ownership with a good, strong, new foundation. It bodes well for your future there.
::hug::
LunaSea

Kim said...

Wow. I'm impressed with how they do this! Thanks for the close-up shots. I think it's really interesting!

Anonymous said...

Jezus H Christ! Is THAT really HOW FAR your house sags? You guys are fixing it? Your braver than I thought!

When working on cleaning out and repairing my sister's house in Wyoming, I got an estimate of 160,000 to fix the foundation. I will NOT ask you how much this is costing, but I sure will keep you in my thoughts if we win the lottery!

We drove 5 hours to Brooklyn to return Gary's Mom and Aunt- lots of jackhammering on our Pennsylvania highways as well out here.

Annalisa

Anonymous said...

I can relate...I'm a bit saggy myself!
Bandaid

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

If the house needed a hundred and sixty grand in foundation work, we NEVER would have bought it!

Don't worry, we're insane, but not that kind of insane.

Anonymous said...

Is this the side of the house where the lady wears a tiara to wash dishes?!!!!! Isn't it wonderful to have a neighborhood where you know your neighbor's names! Lookin' good and just think, you will not need to wonder about what treasures may be hidden beneath your house!

Much love,
Wendy In The Eastbay

Steve, Christa, Emily, Meghan, Charles & Elizabeth said...

I toured a home a couple of years ago that had been restored. The home was over 100 years old and every wall was still plumb and square. I was amazed.

Anonymous said...

we live in a 110 yr old victorian and I totally understand the floor bit. There is a supporting wall in the basement that disects my kitchen. The fridge sits on this bump and has to be shimmed so it doesn't teetertotter on it. DH also put in a couple supports in the basement and he cranks them up a couple times a year.

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