Saturday, February 27, 2016

Solid Foundation

Once upon a time on a frigid winter day this little house was stabilized with 15 steel piers.  The End.

Well, actually it's only the beginning of what will be an ongoing process in making our 1937 home feel like new.  Besides a few minor things like a small paint job, the addition of a storm door, and changing out a light fixture, this was the first thing we did to the house itself.  Everything else up to this point has been buying furniture and decorating rooms.

Now that we're starting to think about the bigger picture and renovations to come it only made sense to start with the foundation.  It's biblical after all.

This step crack on the side is what first start turning my wheels about the foundation and that it might need attention {in addition to the fact that the house if just old}.  Nothing out of the ordinary was found in our home inspection when we bought the house, but after living in it for 18 months the interior drywall and exterior mortar cracks were constant visual reminders nagging at me. We decided to have a structural engineer out to take a look.

His report was pretty unexceptional for the most part {which was a good thing}, he said the house had shifted at some point but no guesses as to how long ago that was or how long it might be until the house moved again-- if ever.  He did say it's never a bad idea to stabilize an old house which is pretty much all I needed to hear.  

Within a few weeks Ram Jack American Leveling arrived with a team unlike anything I've ever seen. In one day they put in 8 helical steel piers, 7 hydraulically driven steel piers, 1 interior support jack in the basement, and sealed all the mortar cracks.

Piers were put in on the front, back, and sides of the house.  They were extremely professional and even stopped to show me exactly how the process worked while I was wandering around with my camera.

Everywhere that a pier was placed, be it in concrete or soil, a 3 foot by 3 foot hole was excavated and the pier was then driven 15 feet into the ground.

At one point I could literally see the house move.  It was a pretty cool thing to watch.  

Several piers went into the front beds therefore shrubs had to be dug up.  They've since been replanted but I'm curious to find out this spring if they make it or not.  Luckily the Japanese maples {my favorite} were far enough away that they weren't affected.

So that's that, our old girl got some Spanx. 

Was this the most fun thing to spend money on?  Probably not.  But it's done and with a lifetime transferable warranty I consider this to be a capital improvement.  And if I'm being honest the peace of mind that comes with a solid foundation is supremely gratifying.

***This post is not sponsored by Ram Jack American Leveling {but I would highly recommend them}***
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