contrasting shots of house seen from Oak Tree Drive before and after the building movers slid it west

Raising the house

two views of the house seen from Orchard Lane, before and after raising it

Ken & Brian standing under the house, 
	which is jacked 12 feet into the air
The next day the building movers raised the house twelve feet above the basement grade to allow concrete work underneath.
Nephews Troy and Travis walk in the excavation beside cribbing which holds the floor up over their heads

view of the hovering house from the west

Once again unable
to enter the house,
we are relearning

Laying the foundation 

cement workers set up forms beneath the house closer view of workers setting up cement forms down in the basement excavation.
view inside the forms from above, showing blue styrofoam placeholders.

Oct. 20, a week after the building movers raised the house, the cement workers set up forms to hold the concrete for the basement walls.  Inside some of the forms were styrofoam blocks to fill the space where masons will lay the stones which will line the exposed surfaces of the basement.

The next day the rains started to increase, delaying the option to bring heavy cement trucks up into the slippery, exposed clay surface.  Fortunately, all agreed that a cement truck sliding into the suspended house would be a bad thing.  Losing hope for a dry spell, we asked the cementers to bring in the more expensive equipment which could pump the concrete into the forms from a distance.  Friday, Oct. 24 they poured the basement walls.  Saturday, Sunday and Monday set a new record for rainfall over three days.

When the atmosphere finally cleared, we were pleased to find that the basement held up very well even though the soil hasn't been shaped yet to drain water away from the foundation.  Only the deepest hole, exposed to the east of the house, collected water.  (See the photo at right.)  There was little erosion and the gravel basement floor stayed dry or drained soon after the rain ended!  Yes, that's broken ice in the puddle, as we race the onset of winter to complete our "summer project."

broken ice in the hole around the retaining wall beside the driveway; 
marks on the wall show water levels over the past couple days
Brian, seen through the window opening in the silhouettes of the foundation walls, 
uses a tape measure to check the alignment of the basement to the house.
After the cementers removed the forms, Brian checked the alignment of the wall to the house still hovering on beams three feet above it.  He is standing in front of a garage window opening; beside it is an opening into which the beam will be lowered.  After the building movers reclaim their beam, we will have this and other beam openings bricked up.

So, anyway, as our house remained hovering above its foundation, this man in the white suit landed and the war continued ...

tall man covered from head to toe in white hooded jumpsuit
workman in trench sealing each opening around metal spikes in concrete with dots of waterproofing man in the white suit in the trench, spraying a coat of waterproofing on the outside of the walls

... the ongoing struggle between human dwellings and water.  The waterproofers quickly removed the metal spikes protruding from the wall and sealed the holes, sprayed the exterior, cut insulation, and laid a drain hose.  At that point we went to work shoveling clean gravel over the drain hose.

As the waterproofers admitted, it's hard to take too much pride in your work when it's always covered up so quickly.  Within an hour, Brian's nephew Travis and friend Mark had backfilled most of the trench around the basement.

waterproofing insulation pressed against the outside of the foundation shovel in foreground in trench around basement wall which is covered by insulation with a drain tube running along the bottom of the wall

Wednesday's waterproofing passed the test of Saturday's nightlong deluge.  Unfortunately, the unfinished driveway collected all the water from the streets above us.  

view of driveway covered by water extending into the road

We're confident that raising the driveway to its final height, landscaping beside it and, most importantly, removing the silt fence barrier cloth which we've got covering the sewer beside the driveway opening in order to keep our topsoil from eroding into the storm sewers, will fix this water problem.

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