Construction Starts Here

We went home for a visit yesterday! It was a good thing waiting a couple of days because by the time we arrived it was very obvious that this thing was on. They erected a large fence shown here:

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Make sure you bring your hard hat.

Hmmm…. doesn’t look like much until we step inside:

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just careful where you step, kay?

That gaping hole there is where the new steps leading down to the basement are going to be. Changing the location of the basement steps increases the amount of space we get in the kitchen and allows for more light via a newly constructed bay window on the eastern wall of the house. Previously a treacherously steep staircase and a powder room right off of the kitchen made it difficult to design an efficient kitchen layout and would have blocked the would-be new window. The new design moves the powder room altogether into the hallway (a much better location in my opinion). Plus…light! More light and a bigger kitchen! The new placement of the staircase, however, provides us with one big challenge that we have yet to work out… how to open and close drapes or blinds on the window just above. I am open to ideas but right now I am thinking that remote control might be the only way to do this effectively.

As you can see, the basement is in a state of…undress

We have to break down before we build up

We have to break down before we build up

Its hard to see everything torn up like this; it probably won’t get easier to look at for a couple of months, but in the end I have been promised eight foot ceilings in the basement which is remarkable. Hey, did I ever even mention the basement? It was recommended to us that there was a huge economy of scale to dig out / finish the basement while they are working to replace the entire foundation. It wasn’t work we planned on doing for years but D was convinced of the value and so, yeah…

One of the cool things about the visit was seeing people, real actual people doing busy work using large busy-looking machines. The crew that our contractor found to replace the foundation didn’t know we’d be dropping by and it was a Saturday morning, so it was especially convincing to see people bustle around the house before they even saw us coming. I know they wanted to start and complete this job almost as much as we did so I shouldn’t be too surprised, but still it was nice. Also on the good/better news front: this foundation job absolutely has to be done right 100% of the way.  I am not sure if this is because of the city issued permits, the nature of the work or a combination of the two but at multiple stages the city inspector and the engineer must sign off of what is going on, so its not gonna be like two guys with a shovel playing popsicle sticks with our house. That is a huge relief.

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