Demolition is pretty much complete! Soon we should start seeing things being added rather than just taken away!
The most noticeable change over the past week is that there is now a Bobcat parked in the yard. Also, the alley is once again clear, because the dumpster is gone. The side of the house is clear, too, because the concrete stoop is also gone. That was part of the masonry demolition, which also removed the remaining brick foundation piers and walls and some concrete block foundation walls that were probably put in a few years back to try to counteract settling of the brick foundation.
Speaking of settling, we had an on-site meeting with the contractor this week to discuss that very topic. Now that everything was gone, they could measure exactly how much the center of the house had settled compared to the outside walls over the past century or more: Three inches. The question for us to answer: Should they jack up the house to fix the settling before building the addition, or stabilize it and tie the addition in as is? They explained that either way, the house would be stable when they were finished, and the addition would be built square and level. It just might be three inches lower than originally planned.
Three inches is kind of a lot when things are supposed to be square and level. There are a few places in the Pink House where the floors are noticeably slanted, and there are some doors/window frames that aren’t square. However, the floors being slanted isn’t something that bothers us much, and the worst doors and windows are either already gone or will be gone as part of this project. Given that the cost of fixing the settling would approach $5,000, and considering that the design made it fairly easy to tie in without addressing the settling, we decided to skip it. The house gets to keep its wavy floors (they add character, right?), and we get to keep that money (at least until the next unexpected change).
At the end of that meeting, a lumber truck arrived to deliver some beams to be used for shoring up the house during construction of the new masonry foundation wall. When the truck driver asked for help, I don’t know what I was expecting, but I was not expecting the 20-foot-long behemoth that they lugged into the back yard from the street. After watching three guys struggle with the first one, I tried helping with the second. I didn’t know our house was big enough to require such a big beam.
I’m not expecting a whole lot of work to be done this week, with it being Thanksgiving and all, but we should be seeing that Bobcat go to town on the yard soon. Digging out the basement will also require that the yard be leveled out, and I’ll be interested to see how they deal with the tree roots without destroying the trees.