Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's all about the holes

For the last week or so, my life has been all about holes.  Not the kind that knitters make with needles and yarn and ingenuity...

I should be so lucky.  Nope - it's the other kind.  The ones that much stronger people make with sledgehammers and shovels and persistence.

Seriously: Al started this hole with a sledgehammer and who knew that vinyl tile, as susceptible as it is to scratches, could be so tough to get through?  Never mind the layer of cement underneath, for which I'm pretty sure he used something a bit more intimidating... I would know if I hadn't been hiding out upstairs, afraid to look.  And let's not forget that this particular hole got a LOT deeper from here.  All the way down to water level, in fact - which was, luckily, quite a long way.

Let's backtrack a moment.

Among the many things I did not know about renovating is the small item about needing to make sure the soil under the house, and the foundations and loadbearing walls of the house, can all take the weight of the new parts of the house to be added.  And to check that, you have to make a lot of holes.

As a result - and in case you noticed and were wondering why there have been rather a lot of recycled photos here at Hugs the last week or so - Tuesday was a very exciting day here.  It was the culmination of a week's procrastination followed by three days of very intense furniture moving, so that a geoengineer and a structural engineer could drop by and check to make sure all is as it should be. And how lucky am I that all I had to do was move furniture, and not worry at all about coordinating the team required to pull all this off?

That picture above is of the most dramatic hole, but there were two more to check the foundation in other parts of the basement, plus a fourth in a closet wall upstairs to investigate the back side of the brick.  I patched that one with a sheet of printer paper and some white duct tape, because I'm so classy.

You know what is really helpful in a situation like this?  Having the same contractor for years and years doing lots of different projects that require opening up walls and ceilings, and having him on board for the renovation too.  Ray knows our house better than we do at this point, and he could answer pretty much every question the engineers had from personal experience.  Such a help, to everybody.  I had cleared enough away and used enough covers for what was left to permit drywall bits and dust to fall wherever it may, but in the end we just needed that one closet hole.

By the end of Tuesday the holes had been investigated and soil samples (plus photos!) taken, and then neatly filled back in with the original dirt and some new cement.  Soon - maybe even today - I can move the furniture back and act like none of this happened, except that the house will be magically empty of stuff I moved with the furniture and have decided really doesn't need to go back with it.  I am really, really hoping I can use this opportunity to simplify the packing I'll have to do to get us out of here for the actual construction phase.

Because you know what?  Gift knitting.  There is going to be just so. much. gift. knitting... all due at the same time as I'm supposed to be getting us moved out.

Speaking of which, it's time now for me to go see whether the cement is emotionally prepared for things to get dragged over it.  Perhaps you'd like a picture of something pretty before I go.

Prettier than a hole, yes?  (although, pretty is as pretty gets you a whole new floor in your house, so - maybe that hole is gorgeous after all.)  Have a pretty day yourself and I'll see you tomorrow!

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