Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Braley House Elevation Project : Construction Phase : Prepping the House

Prepping the Chimney for the Lift
Today I am writing from the table in my sailboat. Our house is totally under construction. Wolfe House and Building Movers have cleared our the sidewalks and porches. Trenches are dug into the crawlspace to make room for the steel beams.

That's it. Doesn't sound like much but believe me, they have been working amazingly fast. Again, let me digress.
Equipment for the job 

Last Thursday was our scheduled move out date, Alas, the weather intervened and we had torrential rains that flooded our yard. We were reminded of why we started this project in the first place. Since the ground was saturated, the plumber called and said they were not going to bring in their backhoe and have it get stuck in the mud, so we rescheduled for Monday.

Friday morning was cold and still raining lightly, so we had our preconstruction meeting inside our dining room.We had a pretty impressive group of people ready and excited to start our project. Dean Dixon – Dean’s ConstructionGregg Meffley – H&B PlumbingPaul Felty – Triumph ElectricalDavid Gordon – Chesapeake Home Improvement GroupBill Hildebrand – MEMA Regional Liaison Officer for the Upper Eastern Shore, Michelle Lloyd – Deputy Emergency Manager,Cecil County Department of Emergency Services, and Lisa Rhodes – Deputy Director of Planning, North East, MD.

Removing our front breezeway slab

Saturday, Eric and I finished projects we had to finish around the property. Wood from downed trees was still on the yard and had to be moved; construction debris from an old chicken coop we demolished had to go to the dump; our old lawn tractor was dead and was ready for the recycle center.

Sunday was almost a celebration as we knew the next morning early our contractors were arriving and we had to be out of their way. Our sons came home for a few hours and helped us install a new storm door on the interior porch door that was now an exterior door. Our neighbor's tree fell across our creek and so Eric helped them cut and clear it. I spent most of the day cleaning the house, closing the curtains, securing valuables, finishing the last dishes and loads of laundry, wiping down the empty refrigerator and also transferring essentials to our sailboat.
60 foot long sections of steel beams 

Monday morning, we woke up early, took our last shower and were out of the house by 7:30 a.m. The electricians pulled up just before 8 a.m. and checked to make sure there were no hot wires in the crawlspace and also installed an extra eight feet of ground wire to our electrical panel. The plumbers also were there right at 8 a.m. and got busy installing a yard hydrant for water during the project, disconnecting and capping the sewer and pulling out all the pipes from the crawlspace. By 9:30 a.m. we were ready and waiting for Wolfe House and Building Movers to come. We heard their trucks backing up and looked down our driveway to see massive trucks maneuvering the tight turn to enter our driveway. they dropped off steel mesh boxes of cribbing wood, a backhoe and bobcat tractor as well as several tractor attachments.

Busting through crawlspace walls

The foreman walked the property and started measuring and disappearing down into our crawlspace while the other workers started removing extra concrete in our porches and sidewalks. The foreman only had one surprise for us that he needed Eric to remove the bottom few rows of siding. Of course, Eric jumped on it and worked like a madman to stay ahead of the tractors trying to make openings in our walls. By the time 8:30 p.m. rolled around, Eric and I were exhausted and crawled into our comfortable by small berths on the boat.

Sliding in the steel