Friday, June 30, 2017

Braley House Elevation Project: Finishing the details

So here it is July 4th weekend and we are still living out of our sailboat. We have had a few nights where the heat was too much for sleeping on the boat and instead we found a cool air conditioned hotel room or visited our relatives.

Breakfast on the boat is wonderful when the temperatures are not too hot.

I am happy to say that we are really close to getting our occupancy permit. All of our contractors are paid in full and we are happy with their craftsmanship. That means that we now are responsible for the rest of the work, and there is plenty of that! We will install windows and wall coatings as our finances allow but our yard looks like a construction zone. 

Yes, that's Eric moving dirt around.

Heavy equipment made light work of lifting out house and moving building supplies, but they tore up our soils and now with the sun baking the ground, I don't think we have too many microbes standing by to help new plants grow. But, not to worry. I love a challenge and although I really don't like temperatures much above 75 degrees, I think we can create a new home for lots of interesting plants.

Flood vents will keep flood waters flowing out of the house.

FEMA required a few things of our project - like downspouts that direct the rain water away from the house, as well as away from the stream running next to our house. Our existing downspouts are about eight feet too short, so we will have to attach extra sections. We finished installing flood vents into openings in the block walls that our mason left open for this purpose. The vents were very expensive little gadgets that serve a dual purpose of ventilating and allowing floodwaters to pass through the new area.

Our new sewer line going in.

Fill dirt needs to be leveled up to the house about eight inches below our flood vents. We did find a contact from Craigslist who is bringing in soil from a construction project from State Highway. He is happy to find a place to put the extra dirt from drainage ditches they are installing along a roadway and will give it to us for free. We did buy one dump truck load for a couple hundred dollars thinking that surely that much dirt would be plenty, but we still need lots more. 

Our new spiral stairs being installed.

Under our new deck, we have to install pea gravel to prevent rainwater from splashing up mud. 

Our siding needs to be trimmed to an even level and finished off and we are hoping that with the siding we saved, we can get by without having to buy new sections.

Our new stairs and deck!

Our spiral staircase is over halfway installed and looks just beautiful, but we still need to install the handrail and the central balustrades. Then from the base of the stairs, we need to create steps down to the new ground level.

So yes, our project is almost done but I think we will still be working on the details for another six months. It's a once in a lifetime project and now hopefully this house will last for several more generations.

Stay tuned for more pictures...