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House Elevation: Foundations and Sill Plates

A project of this magnitude is going to involve a ride through the school of hard knocks. Things will go wrong. It will take longer than you think, and likely cost more. The good news? Your house will no longer flood! Participating in a house elevation is going to provide an eduction on topics many of you may have never imaged. Below is a sample … Continue reading House Elevation: Foundations and Sill Plates

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House Elevation: Building the Foundation

As fate would have it, next door to our temporary apartment, the house is also being lifted. It too suffers from the occasional rising whims of the little brook near our house, about two miles down stream from our house. With my new knowledge base on this subject, I’ve noticed a few things about this elevation that the casual observer would be likely to miss.  Style … Continue reading House Elevation: Building the Foundation

Neighbor Disputes During House Elevation

New Stairs for Elevated House  The winds of change have visited our project this week and delivered a blast of good news. With a follow-up to our oh-so-friendly encounter with the neighbor, we have come away victorious.  Recall our project was held up for two months while she disputed the few extra inches of variance required for the bottom step, a variance that we already … Continue reading Neighbor Disputes During House Elevation

Exterior Railings for an Elevated House

Exterior railings add an element of flair and fashion to your house, along with safety measures. They may seem like a minor detail, but railings can have a dramatic impact on the visual appeal of your house. Our house project is coming along this week and the staircase is now complete except for the railing.  In the picture above you can see the completed staircase, sans … Continue reading Exterior Railings for an Elevated House

Careless Contractor’s Run Amok

Week 22:  What happens when a crew of sheet rock workers run amok in your house? Someone’s going to be very unhappy. That someone was me this week. The first day this crew started, they made a huge mess. Dust was everywhere. The kind of dust that can find its way into closed cabinets. I was not happy. I let them know. I asked them what … Continue reading Careless Contractor’s Run Amok

Mudroom Renovation

WEEK 21: The mudroom, like this entire project, is S-L-O-W-L-Y  taking shape this week. In an earlier post I had discussed the history of flooding in this room as well as tips on choosing tile, so this is mostly a pictorial update. SEPTEMBER The base of our mudroom has been filled with cement. #floodproof OCTOBER  The floor was built up and then the concrete was poured. … Continue reading Mudroom Renovation

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Staircase Transformation on an Elevated House

WEEK 20: Fresh on the heels of last week’s set-back, we’ve made some steady progress this week, albeit not nearly enough for my liking. The majority of the work effort has been restricted to the new front staircase. It’s great to see the transformation, but what I’d really like to see is a beehive of activity on my house. You know, like they show on TV … Continue reading Staircase Transformation on an Elevated House

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

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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

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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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