At long last, the foundation work is underway. The long, cold, wet spring has put us a little behind schedule but hopefully we’ll make up some time with the nice weather as of late.
Vanessa and I were sitting at the breakfast table last week when this hauled up outside our house.
The huge carrying beams had arrived, the excavator was already delivered – so it was time to get underway.
First, make a cut in the topsoil to provide access to the sills – the first to be replaced. Once all of the old sills are removed and replaced and the walls are re-supported, the house can be lifted and the excavation can start.
So I thought I’d take you on the grand tour of what’s under our house before it all disappears.
The original foundation is hand-cut sandstone, dry-stacked to about 5′ high. The mortar you see in the joints was applied sometime in the past in an attempt to keep some of the moisture out.
All of these stones will be removed and salvaged from the foundation and stored at the back of our property.
A lot of these stones will be used in-and-around our property as part of our landscape design as garden borders, retaining walls, walkways and steps to the deck.
The stones are beautiful – all hand shaped and fit precisely for the foundation – and will have a prominent place in our garden. But still – that’s a lot of rock.
The whole process for the new basement will take a few weeks, but while that’s underway, we’ve kept busy building our gardens. The plants we started inside need to be transplanted so our first job is to build the garden beds.
The areas we’re working in have never been farmed before. Decades of grass growing waist-high and dying back every season has made the digging difficult (to say the least) but because of this, I suspect the soil is going to be very fertile. We’ve easily got a couple more days of digging and tilling the soil before we actually plant anything.
There are some vegetables that should have been planted by now, but with the disagreeable weather and the house demolition monopolizing our time, we will just have to make do.
Fortunately, out seedlings have been thriving inside our grow-op. We’ve slowly acclimated the plants to living outdoors by daily increasing their outside exposure.
Hopefully by this time next week, the veggies will be all planted and we’ll be starting on the new shed/chicken coop.
So, things are looking up. We’re turning that corner that we’ve been waiting for – restoration instead of demolition. We still have a lot ahead of us, but it’s a nice feeling that we’re into a new stage. Until then, though, we continue working in the garden and getting our beds planted. That in itself is like therapy.