What a whirlwind week we’ve had. When we last left you, the foundation repairs had started. The steel supports were delivered and a few of the damaged sills were replaced.
That was child’s play compared to where we are now. In fact, things are progressing so quickly, that what you’re currently reading is old news (well, to us anyhow).
Thankfully the weather has been on our side – for a change. With an exception of one rain-day last week, it’s been non-stop progress. So with that said, here’s how the last few days went:
After the sills were replaced, the soil was cut down around the house and stones removed from the foundation to make pockets for the big steel beams to be installed.
Picking up one end with the excavator and slowly guiding it through the pockets in the foundation, the beam is pushed from the back of the house, with only inches to spare….
….out through the front of the house.
Needless to say, Elmer has done this once or twice before. Now for the second beam.
So that takes care of the main cape. The kitchen ell has two smaller supports perpendicular to the two mains. These will be jacked by hand.
But the two main supports will be raised pneumatically. With the cribbing and jacks in place, it’s time to start lifting.
Front-to-back, the main beams are raised and the side supports are jacked manually to keep pace.
Murdoch’s such a trooper, too. He’s happy just to be out with us and the guys from Moveall Structures. Of course, anytime he gets attention, he’s happy.
And there it is. The house is up a couple of feet off the old foundation wall and the next step is to remove the old stone wall and excavate to a depth to accommodate the new full-height basement.
Unfortunately, Thursday is where the week ended for the crew. Rain came on Friday and the remaining excavation would have to wait until after the weekend.
But, in spite of the rain, Friday was just what we needed. Our good friends, Aarno and Helena were passing through the maritimes on their way back to Ontario and paid a visit. How awesome to see old friends and familiar faces – and to share a glimpse in what we’re doing. We went for a quick drive along Cavendish and stopped for lunch at the Blue Mussel Cafe in North Rustico.
It was there we met Steve, the new owner of the restaurant. He and his wife just moved to PEI last year, looking for a change of pace and had just opened the restaurant for the season only six days earlier. And to top it off, they were originally from Ajax – practically neighbors to us in Ontario! If you ever find yourselves in the area, I’d certainly recommend their cafe.
The day off was more than a welcome change. It was entirely necessary. During the week of the foundation work, we were digging and preparing the vegetable gardens. Vanessa was raking and shoveling while I was getting dragged around the yard by the tiller we rented. Needless to say, we took advantage of the rainy weekend and rested up.
On Monday, the guys were back to complete the excavation. The goal was to finish in time to get the footings poured.
I’ll hand it to them: they put in a long day to get it done, and by the end of the day, the milk truck, er, concrete truck was backing in and the footings were poured.
What an enormous undertaking, but I’m sure well worth the investment.
Like I mentioned before, it’s all happening very fast. But in the same breath, I can’t wait until the foundation is done and we’re back on the ground. Vanessa says it’s like living in a bouncy-castle. Perhaps not quite that bad, but you certainly feel every wind gust and the floors spring under your feet.
I’ll keep the posts coming as quickly as I can, but remember, find Our Old Island Home on Facebook and “like” us for real-time updates. You’ll have already known that we’ve started forming the foundation walls today.
Until next time: keep your feet on the ground!