House Lowering

Happy 2017!

So many things happened in 2016. We bought a farmhouse, tore off the porches and kitchen, met some critters & lifted all 143 tons of the house into the air.

As covered in past blog posts, we started the foundation work by lifting the house at the end of August. After the house was in the air, we had to pull out the original foundation & excavate to prepare for the new foundation to be poured. Then came the foundation forms, pouring, waterproofing and backfilling. After the foundation started to set, we had to replace all the sill plates. Then at last, the house was ready to be lowered back down.

To ensure the east end of the house would remain stable during the lowering, we had to build a temporary wall in the dining room.

Temporary Wall - East End

In order to remove the 60-foot beams holding up the house after it was lowered, we cut out beam pockets around the perimeter of the foundation. Masons will fill these in later.

Lowering the house is similar to lifting it, just in reverse. It’s an intricate process that involves hydraulic pumps to lower the house inches at a time, pulling out pieces of the cribs (remember the Jenga towers?) in conjunction with the pumps, and then repeating. Over and over. And over again.

When you’re at the beginning of a lengthy renovation like ours, every step of progress seems like a momentous occasion. When the egress windows were installed, I couldn’t stop looking at the pictures; finally, something new instead of more demo! So when Brendon texted me and told me we could use the front door again, I was elated. Sometimes you just want to be able to get into your house without using a ladder. It’s the little things, right?House Lowering - Front Door

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