Sunday, November 17, 2013

In which we have walls, but we are still sore!

Forgive the absence of photos today, but I am dog tired.  I have been under the building for the last 10 days, cleaning up while the foundation folks do their work.  We now have poured walls all the way around the building, which is exciting!   Because we couldn't raise the building too much higher...It is 8 feet off the ground, after all, there was no space to pour walls to full height, so the front wall and the right side wall will finish with two courses of cement filled concrete block. (or is that concrete filled cement block?).  We have full head room in almost the entire basement, save for two spots where we are going to have to do some serious rock breaking!

Greg and I worked ourselves to the breaking point on Tuesday.  I started in the morning, breaking up the last of the cement floor...some places it was five inches thick....and throwing it outside the building for the excavator to pick up.  Greg came down after he finished his masterpiece wedding dress for a client (she was thrilled!) and helped dig and redistribute fill.  We now have the back half of the basement space dug down to 9 feet or so.  Once the building gets lowered down and we put in the 6-8 inches above the floor, we will have a minimum of 7'6" of headroom in most of the space.

It is now Sunday.  Greg and I worked tirelessly on Friday to dig some more of the floor out.  I am working on an area (about 1/4 of the basement space) that needs 15 inches or so dug out.  It is lousy with soft granite ledge.  My process is digging around the ledge and then whacking it with the sledge hammer or taking the pick axe to it.  Most of the time, the ledge flakes off in 30 to 50 pound pieces.  Greg got me to start further splitting the granite so that it splits into flat pieces that we can use for a walkway or something.  We have about 15 flat stones so far.  We worked from about 8 until 3 and then came home to hot showers and bathrobes.  I have been in my bathrobe ever since!  We took yesterday off and will be back under the building today to try and finish scraping down the floor to grade.  We are almost the new front wall, but will have to wait for the cribbing to be removed by the building jackers before we can really finish all the work that needs doing.  Our foundation man is taking off for Florida for the winter, so he told us that we needed to get the floor prepared to pour in the next two weeks!  I think we can do it.  He was very complimentary of the basement space and told us so, which we need to hear every once in a while.  We have had several visitors over the last few days whose eyes glaze over when they step under the building.  They all have that tell-tale look on their faces that seem to say "You crazy people!"  Greg admitted that we are a little crazy...which I deny.

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