So the house is gone… What happened next?
Well after tearing down the existing house we brought in a crew to build the forms for the footings that support the foundation walls. This step was originally planned for mid-late November when the weather was a lot better, but because of the permit delays we were a bit behind schedule and the crew we had originally lined up was no longer available. So rather than endure another 2 week delay to wait for them and risk an influx of colder temperatures, we sourced another crew – one that was available to start right away AND who’s quote came in under budget! Awesome for us right?! WRONG. Sometimes you get what you pay for. When you’re watching a crew bumble their way through something that should be relatively simple and it looks like amateur hour, it’s probably a good indication you should cut your losses before that lowball price ends up costing double when the work needs to be redone. I’d done a lot of research into laying foundations and saw plenty of articles where workmen would use Mascore helical piles and other supporting tools to secure the foundation but none of that was going on here, it was an absolute shambles.
So cut our losses is exactly what we did. After a few short hours of watching the clearly shoddy workmanship, Kevin promptly told the gentlemen that it was time to pack up for the day…and not come back. This is a perfect example of why it’s so important to have an experienced project manager on site to make sure that the work that is being done is up to par. Especially when it’s the footings!!! They provide the support for the foundation and therefore the ENTIRE HOUSE rests on them! They HAVE to be done right.
Thankfully within 2 days, Kevin found us a new, highly competent crew of guys to get the job done.
Not only did they finish the footings, but they went above and beyond working long hours in bitter cold, and even coming in on Christmas Eve to help us make up some of the time we lost.
So now as if the cold weather isn’t enough of an issue, we also had another surprise while excavating for the foundation… As it turns out, along with the pet cemetary, there was a massive decommissioned septic tank buried along the back of the house. It must have initially been installed so that other properties had access to a fully-functioning, and environmentally-friendly sewage system so they could recycle any wastewater they gathered. Don’t get me wrong, I really can see the benefits of septic tanks, and why people use them, but I’m not sure if I like the idea of having one directly under my floorboards. Our reaction: “Just dig it up”. Sounds simple enough right? Well digging it up was in fact quite simple – what wasn’t as simple was the huge hole it left behind. It left us with a way deeper whole than we needed and apparently you cannot just refill it with dirt because the foundation must sit on undisturbed soil.
Soooo, now the foundation wall has to be much deeper in that area. Build a wall then bury it…that’s like throwing money straight into the ground. Yaaaay!
All that aside, the foundation walls are coming along quite nicely…
…including the one we have to build just inside the original one! Most. Expensive. Eight. Inches. EVER! Lol!
Well we reached the end of the year with the foundation walls about 2/3 complete. Not bad for a just over a week’s work eh? And after a short break to ring in the new year and take a few days off to relax, Team Dreamhouse will get back at it next week!