So, after spending several hours on Wednesday digging around and pick-axing out the granite ledge at the front of the basement, I was tired! Greg came down to help after a few hours and I told him I needed a break, so we had an early lunch at Good N' You Street Food where I had the special fiddlehead burrito..yum!
Upon our return, I told Greg that I thought we should start at the front of the basement where there wasn't any granite ledge and move our way back. Greg looked at me skeptically, since he is a type A and needs to finish what was started in the same manner with no deviation. Too bad he married me then, cause I am type scatter brain and flit from one thing to another in a random way! We huffed and puffed and moved about forty wheel barrows full of dirt in about 90 minutes and were making good progress, digging down to what we thought was a smooth granite ledge about 8 inches under the clay and dirt. We were considering stopping for the day when a friend showed up in his car with a shovel announcing he was here to help. He explained that he had three or four months with nothing to do and so he thought he would come down and help....WOW!! Needless to say we enthusiastically endorsed the idea and went back to digging. We uncovered an area about 25 feet long by 12 feet wide, roughly a quarter of the basement in one day. It had taken us about four days to do the same work at the front of the basement due to the huge granite ledge there. This section was all smooth though, and we kept wondering whether it was granite or cement.
But why would there be another 4 inches of cement under 8 inches of soil, which was under 4 inches of concrete??
We have raised the height in the basement by about a foot, by now. So standing on the freshly dug ground gives us about 8'3" head clearance. When we finished digging out, we found that indeed, the ground is covered with 4" of cement...taking that up will give us a ceiling height of 8'7" before pouring a new floor. There is a silver lining! The space is not so claustrophobic anymore and I can see a full height retail space in here with windows all around, making it light and sunny and a popular rental space in a town that usually only has ground floor rental spaces with one big window facing the street. (Is it obvious that I am trying to rent the space while we work on it??)
This is the next section to go, we have two old furnaces sitting side by side, hooked together by a heat exchanger. The one furnace is just scrap, having no burner attached. Once we get the wooden walls out, it will be easy to haul them away, Dan Waldron.
But the above photos show you where we are with this. All I can say is "ouch."
What we did love about Wednesday were all the visitors we had who came down to make sure we were ok!! Thanks for the visits and come by any time!