Friday, March 25, 2011

Time Will Tell

The picture is a little bit blurry, but we have this odd growth springing up next to our tree. I think it might be one of the phoenix roses; Rob thinks it might be a weird offshoot of the tree. We'll know soon enough...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Brace Yourselves

These are the brackets holding the ceiling beams to the new main posts. They had to be custom ordered and delayed construction a week because they took forever to get here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

From Many to One (or Two)

This is one of the two posts that now have to hold up the whole house once all the "pier and post" structures are gone. It seems like a lot, to ask one piece to do the work that so many were doing before. Again, I hope the engineer knew what he was doing...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gotta Go!

Now that the perimeter of the foundation is poured, the next step is to remove all the posts that make up the "post and pier" foundation.

The plans call for all of them to be replaced with just two posts and a system of gigantic beams. It's nerve-wracking to think about, but we have to trust that the engineer knew what he was doing.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More Ground Shaking Protection...

Another part of the earthquake retrofitting is to "sheathe the cripple walls." Basically, this is a fancy way of saying they're nailing plywood on the studs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Pile Just Grows...

Need any dirt? We've got it in spades...

They are supposed to be bringing in a small backhoe to dig out the rest of the basement, but so far our contractor hasn't been able to work out how to get it into the backyard, so for now it's all by hand...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Anyone Need A Battery?

You find the strangest things once you start digging under a house.

Still waiting to uncover the Indian burial ground.

Monday, March 14, 2011

In the Trenches

They have to dig a trench all the way around the foundation, both inside and out, to waterproof it.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

In Case The Ground Shakes...

These are the bolts that now hold our house to the foundation. This is part of the earthquake retrofitting we are doing while excavating the basement.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We're Living on Stilts

Now that the siding is off the lower part of the house, you can see how it actually sits above the foundation on stem walls. This will all be recovered, but in the meantime it gives a pretty good idea of how our above ground basement will work with the existing house.

It's a little eerie seeing what actually supports us. And man, the house does sway when Rob does laundry and the washer hits the spin cycle!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another Gardening Project

A couple of weeks ago while I was away (see a pattern here?), Rob weeded around the rose bushes and planted California poppy seeds.

He also cleaned up some bricks from the pile in the driveway and made a border. Not sure where he got the patience to scrape off all that mortar.

Once the rest of the parkway is done, it's going to look awesome!

Monday, March 7, 2011

This Ain't Right...

A big reason we did yard work this past weekend is that we had weeds bigger than our fledgling tree. Yikes!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Nothing but Concrete

Here is a picture of the poured concrete in the frame...

And the finished wall once the framing was removed. The bricks are the base of the old fireplace the previous owners had removed from Rob's office. We still think about restoring it.

Steel Reinforcement...

Originally the plan was to pour a sister foundation inside the existing foundation, and bolt the two concrete walls together.

After the cave-in, that plan was abandoned everywhere that had not already been poured. I'm actually relieved that we aren't keeping much of the old, crumbly foundation.

Here you can see the steel cage that was built to reinforce the concrete.

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Our foundation is now completely poured -- has been for a couple of weeks, but I've been too busy to post. The following posts will walk you through most of the process...

These crazy beams are called spider legs. We had a couple of these in place when the project first started. After the cave-in, they multiplied like bunnies to keep the house standing.

How We Spent Our Weekend

We dug out the weeds in one half of the parkway. Rob planted lavender and rosemary that we bought at the Hollywood Farmer's Market and also sowed California poppy seeds and blue grama grass. We got the seeds from Theodore Payne. Should be pretty once it's all grown in.

Rob's going to
try to do the second half next weekend while I'm away...