Hiccups to a House Elevation Project

WEEK 19: Mired in a sea of inept, lazy, self-righteous pin-heads this week, things could be better.  Sometimes life is bound to get a little dicey, particularly when undertaking a substantial home renovation. Allow me to elaborate. A VOLCANIC EXPLOSION The week started with a site visit in which our contractor had erroneously poured cement in the wrong place when building up our foundation walls. His … Continue reading Hiccups to a House Elevation Project

House Elevation: Lighting Up $100.00 Bills

WEEK 18: Finally, something to cheer about – we passed the electrical inspection today. Not that we ever questioned if we would pass it – but another hurdle has been cleared. Did I mention that the wires from the basement, the new room atop the garage and the mechanical room all had to be rewired? Add that to the new foundation, the new gas line, the … Continue reading House Elevation: Lighting Up $100.00 Bills

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House Elevation Blues

There’s No Place Like Home. Where’s My Ruby Slippers?  WEEK 17: It’s true what they say: There’s no place like home. And much like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, our children are yearning to return home. Too bad they don’t have any snazzy red shoes to click together three times and make that happen. (Although we do have three boys, so donning red high … Continue reading House Elevation Blues

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House Elevation: Rear Stairs and Deck Design

Originally we had a healthy backyard with a petit patio and enough green space for our three boys to run around. After a few poundings offered up by Mother Nature in the form of floods, our once charming backyard lost it’s luster. Perhaps it was because the water table under our house had permanently been altered or maybe healthy soil had eroded away, whatever the … Continue reading House Elevation: Rear Stairs and Deck Design

The Gas Man Cometh

WEEK 16: aka The Continuing Saga of the Gas Service. When I last left off this topic, we had remedied many of the gas line installation woes with our utility company. They had correctly repositioned our project as a “flood recovery” one and therefore were much more receptive to our needs. They agreed to install the new gas line, at their expense. We dig a trench, … Continue reading The Gas Man Cometh

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House Elevation and an Above Grade Basement: The Devil’s in the Details

I think it’s important to find the little things in everyday life that make you happy. Paula Cole MORNING PLEASURE: It may be just a little thing, but the addition of the windows in our new ‘basement’ was an unexpected pleasure this morning. Why? Because they are the start of making this side of our house look finished. Yes, they still need to be framed out … Continue reading House Elevation and an Above Grade Basement: The Devil’s in the Details

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Foundation Work: Stairs for Elevated House

WEEK 15: After spending a few days in awe of the flooding that has recently occurred in Boulder, Colorado, I’m back with an update on my flood mitigation project. We’re up to week 15 and taking steps toward seeing a completion date – or – rather making steps this week.   The photo above depicts our crew building the footings for what will become our new … Continue reading Foundation Work: Stairs for Elevated House

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David Vs. Goliath: The Gas Meter Revisited

DRAMATIC TURN OF EVENTS An old house. Extensive flooding. One family. A behemoth-sized utility company. What do all these things have in common? A house elevation project. What originally began as a Stalin-esque shake down from conEdison, our utility company, making us question if we had somehow woken up in a post WWII Eastern Bloc country, has rounded the bend dramatically this week. Once told … Continue reading David Vs. Goliath: The Gas Meter Revisited

Feel the Burn: Gas Lines & Meters

GAS METER UPDATE: In a previous post I lamented about the excruciatingly long process to have a new gas meter and a new gas line installed. Con Edison, our local utility company, first visited our site  on August 20, 2013. At that time, we were under the impression that getting new service was the only option we had; it was the required protocol during a … Continue reading Feel the Burn: Gas Lines & Meters

House Elevation: Capturing a New Room Post Lift

WEEK 12 of House Elevation Project Once upon a time we had an ordinary house in the suburbs of New York City. Seasons passed, our children flourished, and all seemed well with the world. Then our house suffered through extraordinary amounts of rainfall, on several occasions. With nowhere else to go, the water rose up and up and up. We grew to appreciate our flood … Continue reading House Elevation: Capturing a New Room Post Lift

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Interior Damage Minimal After Elevating House

FORMIDABLE FOUNDATION Usually a house built upon a solid foundation is meant to be a permanent situation, complete with lots of cement to seal the deal. A foundation serves as the starting point for all that is to follow, whether you’re talking about an education, a relationship, or a house. It’s designed to have enduring qualities, and ideally built to last. RIPPED AT THE SEAMS … Continue reading Interior Damage Minimal After Elevating House

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Gas Meter Location for Elevated House

WEEK 11 OF HOUSE ELEVATION PROJECT:  This week began with a visit from our local utility company (conEd) in effort to determine the new placement for our gas meter. As the old gas meter was previously located in our basement and said basement is scheduled to disappear, the meter must be relocated. By ‘disappear’ I mean that the former basement will be back-filled then covered … Continue reading Gas Meter Location for Elevated House

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Elevated House Lowered onto Newly Built Foundation

Week 10 The much anticipated, but considerably less dramatic act of lowering the house back down onto the new foundation took place yesterday. Our lift company, Payne, was able to swing into town for two days to complete the job. When lowering the house they have to make certain that the house will sit atop the foundation, flush and square. Ideally they would be able … Continue reading Elevated House Lowered onto Newly Built Foundation

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House Elevation Project Runs Amok

WEEK NINE  A big disappointment  – that sums up week nine of our house elevation project. The lifting company, Payne, was ready to return to the site, but the construction crew did not have the site sufficiently prepped. As Payne is jamming with business, they did not have the luxury of time to sit around and wait. They moved on to their next job in … Continue reading House Elevation Project Runs Amok

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Staircase: When a House Elevation Starts to Hurt

Week 8 When does a house elevation project begin to hurt? When your contractor is working under the premise that your fixed-price contract is a cost-plus contract, with free reign on your wallet. As week 8 of construction came to a close, it’s safe to say it has been the least pleasant so far. But then again, no one promised that retrofitting a house to … Continue reading Staircase: When a House Elevation Starts to Hurt

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House Elevation: Can You Still Have A Basement in a Floodplain?

WEEK 8 Most of the work occurring on our house elevation project this week are of the unseen nitty-gritty sort. The construction crew is preparing for the return of Payne, our lifting company, by completing the last few foundation projects: aligning the proper height all walls, erecting support beams under the crawl space in the rear of our house, fortifying the cinder blocks, and beginning … Continue reading House Elevation: Can You Still Have A Basement in a Floodplain?