Thursday, November 16, 2017

Braley House Elevation Project: We Are Back In Our Home!

I apologize for taking so long to write about our house lift and some of the final details. Inspections took longer than we expected, way longer! During the process, we were frustrated but now looking back - we can say it wasn't too bad. We did find people within the county government that were so helpful in communicating with us and listening to our frustrations. Without their knowledge of how the county officials worked together we would probably still be waiting for another inspection.

Eric enjoying the new door we installed. Note the glass block windows.

So, now I am sitting here in my living room enjoying a warm fire in our woodstove and writing, but from eight feet up. The view out of our windows is very pleasing. My favorite is from our bedroom where I can see our whole back yard and the stream running through as well as our back driveway. At first, living back in the lifted house was scary. I would hear strange pops and cracks and wonder if the new block walls could hold our old house. I tended to walk gingerly as if the huge new I-beams under our floor joists couldn't hold my weight. I feel more secure now as time has passed. 

Molding our new concrete walkways

To say we are finished is an understatement. There are so many details that we still have to finish. We are still working on installing block steps to our front spiral staircase, and then we will create a walkway to the steps in the back yard as well as the front yard. Our siding needs to be finished at the bottom and we are waiting for warmer weather to paint the block walls with a lime wash paint. Inside, we did have a few cracks in the plaster, mostly in the doorways, so we patched them and have been painting the inside of the house. But now, the holidays are almost on us and we will be resigned to waiting to finish all our projects until later. 

We are very happy that we went through this process. Storms can come and rain can fall and the floodwaters can rise, but we don't have to worry any more. Our house has been saved from the constant dampness of a wet crawlspace. Our new space which we call a basement even though it is aboveground is a huge storage space where we can work on projects out of the weather. We can reach the plumbing and electrical with ease and spent a little extra to insulate with rockwool between the floor joists. 

We chose rockwool to insulate as it is supposed to be good for damp environments.

We still carry flood insurance per our agreement with FEMA after the lift but it is a tiny fraction of what we were paying. Although we had to do a lot of work to get to this point, I would still recommend the process to anyone who thought they thought they had a house worth saving in an area prone to flooding

We bought two I-beams from Wolfe - the House Lift Company we used. Here you can see we also used heat tape to keep our incoming water above freezing during the middle of winter.

So stay tuned, I hope to post more pictures when we have the outside finished. 
Happy Holidays!