Saturday, January 30, 2010

Life is full of questions

They reconnected our ground wire this week. I decided to fill in one of the trenches they dug to put I beams under the house. In the pile of dirt I was using to fill in the trench, I discovered several pieces of a cast iron bath tub. The question I have is -- where did the bathtub come from?

I also removed an old pipe that is no longer connected, but was tied to the floor joists and raised with the house. I also removed concrete blocks by hand. It makes you wonder -- how long does mortar really last?

I always thought insulation makes you itch. Why doesn't bother our cat?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Not Grounded

I discovered today that the ground wire pulled out of our fuse box. This is it on the ground. Our contractor contacted the electrician to get it reconnected.

Another way we are not grounded is we are sitting in the air. If you walk heavy, the house seems to move. I think it feels like it moves more because we know what is holding up the house.

There are 17 steps in our stairs. The house is just over nine feet higher than it was before. The house is sitting on four stacks of cribbing. One of the stacks of cribbing isn't even under the house.

This is the new water connection to the house.

These are our new connections to our septic tank.

This is the new natural gas connection to our house.

Our contractor hauled off debris today. Next week they should start removing our old foundation.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Back in the house

They reconnected the water and sewer and we moved back into the house. One of our toilets is over a beam, so they couldn't reconnect it. There was some damage that may correct itself when we are lowered onto the new foundation.


They finished lifting the house today. Our contractor built us some temporary stairs. I will get better pictures this weekend when I can take pictures in daylight. We have four stacks of cribbing holding up the house.

End of First Day of Lifting

This is what the house looked like after the first day of lifting. After my contractor talked to those who were lifting the house, he said, "Congratulations, your house is their most difficult house lift."

We have liftoff

This little machine provides all the power needed to lift the house.

After they pressurize their jacks, they hit the foundation with a sledge hammer to break the house free from the foundation.
After they solved the problem of the jacks sinking into the mud, they finally lifted the house off the foundation.

Final Prep

Monday they came by and did the last of the preparations to lift the house.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


We thought we were going to raise the house today. The contractor came. The electrician came and added a length of wire to the ground so we can have power as we go up. We came to take pictures. The people who raise the house didn't come. Hopefully they will raise the house on Monday.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Day 5

Today they put I beams under our house. They did a lot of banging to get the I beams in. They had a crane to lift the I beams and rollers to slide them in. That is why they needed long trenches in our yard. They also used some of the neighbor's yard. They had to remove a section of natural gas pipe to get one of the beams in. They still had to contend with rain and water today. Our yard is full of mud. The plan is to lift the house tomorrow. They said they still have some tweaking to do in the morning.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 4

Things are getting closer. We were told they were going to lift the house on Friday and we were going to spend the night in the motel. Later we were told they are lifting the house on Saturday and we are going to spend the weekend in the motel. The motel is cheaper than getting the plumber to reconnect the water and sewer on a weekend. The plan right now is to disconnect the water and natural gas tomorrow to put I beams under the house. They will lift the house on Saturday.

This is the big truck with the I beams in front of our house.
This is one of the ditches for the I beams.
This is some of the cribbing they will use to support our house.
These are braces to support the roof of the front house.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Day 3

There are two words that describe today. One of the words is HEAT. They disconnected our heating ducts today. This is them sitting in our detached garage. They were put in new after the flood last year. After they finish raising the house, these heating ducts will be put back in. We are now heating our house with space heaters ad the oven. We sometimes heat our house with our fireplace and wood stove. We usually keep the wood on our back porch when we do that, but we no longer have a back porch.
The second word that describes today is MUD. It rained today and all the rain seemed to end up in our crawl space. This slowed the work. The house won't be raised until Friday or Monday. We don't want to spend the weekend in a motel so it will probably be Monday.

Another thing that happened today is one of our phone jacks stopped working. They probably pulled out the wire with the heating ducts. The phone jack we lost is the one connected to our DSL modem and router. We set up a work-around so we can have internet access.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 2

The workers that our getting our house ready to lift dug trenches where our back porch use to be. They also made a few more holes in our foundation. We are getting a new foundation after the house is lifted, so there is not a problem with them destroying the current foundation. They also dug some more under our house. I didn't go into the crawl space to get pictures. When this is done we will have a walk space instead of a crawl space. The plan is still to lift the house on Thursday.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 1

The people who will lift our house started Monday. They put a lot of holes in our foundation and are digging trenches to get I-beams under the house to lift it. The current schedule is they will lift the house on Thursday. They are going to disconnect our heating ducts on Wednesday. It is a good thing we are not having cold weather.


Our back deck is not attached to the house and so it needed to be removed before we raised the house. Today they removed it.