Frames and Beams!

It’s been a bit since my last post and for that I’m sorry.  Between work, life, the weather and building a house, it’s been crazy.  When it snows, it blizzards (I can’t help myself…really).


After the foundation wrapped we thought we were on our way until we ran into a little delay due to a disagreement on where a lally column would live in our basement.  In our plans the designer put a foundation wall, but it would have actually cost us more money to build the foundation that way, so the contractor recommended we remove it and follow the exterior layout out for our foundation.  What that meant to Jason and I was “Yes!  Open basement!”  What that meant to gravity was “Yes!  Lally column to annoy Jason and Mer!”  Not cool gravity!  Not. Cool.

So after we begrudgingly agreed that gravity would win this time, in came our steel beams!  I’m not sure if the steel guys or I was more excited to have the steel beams arrive, but they were so excited to meet the owner and have their product in a residential property.

It’s always amazing to see these guys maneuver massive trucks and cranes in such a small area.  Add on top of that our first real storm of the year and a cedar tree I’m desperately hoping to keep, it’s like Ninja Warrior for construction.  Even with the lack of space, weather and daylight savings time against us, the beams were installed in a day.

The framing team (and their amazing choice of 90s music) wasted no time once the beams were in place.  They were on site immediately and framing away!

It’s here! The Foundation is Here!!!

I think someone read my last blog post and felt bad, because shortly after it was published the trucks started to arrive.  The crew set to work and the footings went up or should I say were laid down in no time.  After a once over by the building inspector in came the cement!

I think the crew thought I was crazy as I came skipping out of our rental to take pictures.  I was like a school girl at a boy band concert.  Pretty sure the gentleman in blue thought I was going to jump the fence and hug him or ask him for his autograph.

4-formsWe thought it would take some time for the cement to cure with the cold weather, but on New Year’s Eve the crew was back at it.  Seeing our forms for the foundation up was the best way to celebrate the New Year.  Note: I waited until the crew was gone to take this pic as to not send them running.

By end of day Monday the forms were complete and on Tuesday morning the trucks were rolling in.  So many trucks that Jason had to move his car halfway on the lawn of our rental to make way for the crane.

They pour the concrete through a large crane to fill the forms.  I was back in the office so thankfully Jason was here to capture the action.  It was a rainy day, so it’s a little hard to see, but you get the picture.  I always miss the good stuff!

At the end of the week the foundation was in place.  Happy New Year and Foundation!

All I Want(ed) for Christmas was a Foun-da-tion

Well, we were delayed by the town again and Christmas has come and gone!  Sigh.  The town has required that we get 3 additional surveys done which set us back on our foundation and pushed out our trades.  We got the news when they came out to do the footings as seen by the little blue flags in the picture below.


The only positive that came out of surveying was that we learned that we didn’t quite dig and chip out all the ledge we needed in what will be the front of the house.  So back the chipper came just before the snow…

That’s right, I said snow.  The only thing more disheartening than looking out at our pile of dirt, is looking out at our pile of dirt covered in snow.  Thankfully the snow came and went with our famously unpredictable New England weather.  It helps that they set down thick black tarp and a bit of Hot Stuff to protect the area.

We are supposed to make progress this week.  Keeping our fingers crossed (along with our toes, arms, legs, eyes…I think you get the picture) that we will have a foundation before the New Year.


Getting Chippy

After staring at a pile of busted concrete and dirt for almost a month we finally made some progress!

Being delayed for so long by the town has wreaked havoc on our ‘schedule’.  I use that team loosely because we are in a state of having to wait for equipment and crews to be available.

On Monday the chipper and excavator were delivered and on Tuesday they were chipping away.  And chip they did!  We always knew we were on ledge, but man we are on LEDGE!

I think we held our breath for the entire day waiting to hear that we hit ledge that would either take extra time to chip or that wasn’t chippable.  Hey, with our luck we thought it was inevitable.  Thankfully, they were able to complete all the chipping and trenching in 2 1/2 days!  Now we have a beautifully trenched plot of dirt waiting for foundation forms.


It’s Demo Day

If I started this blog when I said I wanted to blog,  this post would not be appearing on demo day, but some time around June of 2015 when we stopped talking about embarking on ‘renovating’ our house and started talking to contractors about actually doing it.


So to give you a little history, in 2010 we bought a little 1950’s bungalow with no updates.  The house was originally constructed as a summer home for the workers of a near by air base at the time.  It was quite the charmer.  Full of knotty pine walls, small enclosed rooms and low ceilings that I, a whopping 5’2″ tall self, could jump up and touch.  Our parents thought we were crazy.  Our friends thought we were crazy.  But we had each other and a vision.

We had done some renovations, including: upgraded our electrical, removed/painted some of that knotty pine, added a back splash and painted the laminate in the kitchen (as seen above), new window, new exterior doors and vinyl siding.

cropped-img_1462.jpgWith all the work we’d put into the house, we always thought we would keep the existing structure and just build out and up.  It didn’t seem that hard.  Well, we were wrong.  After meeting with several contractors we quickly learned our only option to achieve our forever house was to knock her down.  Not just the structure, but also the foundation.  And that’s where we find ourselves today, Demo Day.

On our first night we sat in the living room in lawn chairs listening to music because the only things we could plug in to the 2 prong outlets were a radio and vacuum. Today we start demo to create our forever home. It’s bittersweet to watch our little bungalow come down.