Monday, November 18, 2013

In which we are still digging, but now we have photos!

Still diggin'!  I feel like we are digging for buried treasure, but so far have not found any.  Today is a long awaited photo montage of our work underneath the building and the new walls that surround the basement space.  We have to try and dig the floor down to the concrete pills that will support the new posts in the center of the space.  These pills are 9 feet below the floor boards above.  In places, like where the cardboard box is in the photo below, there is solid granite, but just five feet away from that the granite is soft and comes right out of the ground with a bit of whacking from my trusty sledge hammer.

What we have here is all the cement and granite rock that I have pick axed and shoveled out from underneath the building.  It is quite a lot...I've been doing this for about 2 weeks now and Greg has helped for the last week or so between making coats and dresses for the holidays.  There is a much better photo of one of the piles at the end of this entry.  You can see where the short walls come up on the North side of the building, the rest of the wall will be framed out in wood and two large windows added under the windows above them.  

Since it was impossibly expensive for us to raise the building higher, the last two feet or so of the walls will be concrete block filled with rebar and cement.  The walls are filled with interlocking rebar rods, it was quite the matrix of steel...our foundation guy said it took two solid hours of vibrating the cement as it poured to get the mixture solidly down in the forms.  He told us we could try and drive a Mack Truck through the wall and wouldn't succeed.

I think the building will be around for a long time now!

This is where we started to dig yesterday.  Four hours of back breaking work to get about 5' of space.  That area of dirt under the crib is 15" of granite.  

The pile of granite on the right in this photo all came out of the area in which we were working.  The stones sliced nicely and we will try to use them in a path or walkway or something.  After yesterday, we have about 20 good pieces.  More in the pile outside.  

after digging, we comb through the dirt and pitch all the big rocks, then shovel and cart the dirt to the other end of the basement where we will fill in around the corners, etc.  

 My first big pile of old concrete floor.  In some places, this flooring was 5-6" thick.  
This pile is about 5 feet tall now!

Our contractors and the foundation guys are amazed that we dug down as far as we did!  Which is a good thing.

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