Saturday, October 31, 2015

second & final house move

       While the first house move was exciting, the second and final move was even more so because it meant our first major hurdle was over and we could finally proceed  with our rehab project.   The first move happened toward the end of March and the second the first week of June.  It took only a few days to move it back.  
         In this picture the house has already been moved one house width towards it final resting place and is ready for the final move. 

            Two things to notice in the above picture.  First the small building that was behind the house, the summer kitchen, is now gone.... so sad!  The big building you see further back is the barn.  Also,  if you look closely, those giant wooden jenga blocks  are now built up from the basement floor to the steel beams to support the house. 
        And here's a great shot of the house in process of crawling towards it's new foundation. 

        Back view of the house over top the new foundation.  Just needs to start being lowered down now. 

         And a view of the front door of the house (and porch) almost directly over the foundation.  Can you see where the "I" beam is almost ready to settle into the spot in the top of the basement  wall?  The porch will be added back on later after the house is moved.

       Close up of the "I" beam getting ready to settle into place.  Won't be long now.....

Sunday, October 25, 2015

finishing the basement

         The basement footings are well underway in this photo with rebar being sunk into them where the walls will eventually be placed.   If you look to the right of the man standing above ground with the yellow shirt on, you will see an area roped off  with caution tape.  If you look below this roped area you'll notice a big hole in the dirt.   This is the old cistern that sat right outside the back door.  If I remember correctly it was about 17 ' deep and 8 ' wide.  It would eventually be filled in with sand.

          The next step was to put the basement walls in which  unfortunately I missed the day they did this.  I don't have any pictures of this process, only the completed  work.   Notice the board on the right side of the picture below which leads from the dirt across the opening to the top of the basement wall.  The workers would walk across this board to the top of the basement wall and then down a ladder to the basement floor.     

         Another process and person I didn't get any pictures of was of our plumber, Greg, doing all the work necessary for all our new plumbing.  He did a lot of work I don't fully understand or appreciate, but was so necessary.  Thanks, Greg!

     I also missed the day when the concrete company filled in the basement floor and when they backfilled the dirt around the basement walls.   But here is what it looked like after they were done.

      In the picture above you can see where  large squares of cement were left out of the top of the basement wall.   This is where the metal "I" beam will need to go through to move the house back onto it's new foundation.
      Before we could get the house moved back onto the basement we had to find a framer who would put in the interior basement walls which had to match up with the interior load bearing house walls exactly.  This proved to be a little bit of a problem because once we explained what we were looking for to contractors, they backed away from the job.  They didn't want the liability that things wouldn't match up exactly.  But we finally prevailed and found a guy who did an excellent job.  Not only were we now ready for the house to be moved back, but we could also let our puppy, Latte, run free on our farm for the first time and he loved it!
      So here's a few cute pictures of him, not at the farm, but at our city house.  

    And of course after all that running he certainly felt worthy of resting on our lounge chair in the backyard.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

the big hole

     Shortly after the house move, Beran Concrete began digging the big hole for our new basement.

       It wasn't long before we had huge mounds of dirt around our house and many other loads of dirt that were driven to our back pasture and dumped (to be used for another project). 

      Notice the cute little guy on the leash?  This is our new puppy eager to run wild on our farm land.  Unfortunately,  we couldn't let him just yet, because of this . . .

. . .big hole!  Here the footings have been placed and the truck that will spread the concrete is in the background.  Once the cement trucks arrived the work could begin.

      This may not be exciting to some people, but  it was totally new to me.  If you'll notice the cement is coming down the long arm channel from the white truck.   One man with a big control box strapped around his waist and shoulders controlled the long arm coming from the truck   He stood up higher watching the guys below spread the cement and moved it as they needed to fill in the next section.   

      And just encase this cement stuff is putting you to sleep,  here's a closer look at  our cute puppy we named Latte because he looks like the cream in our coffee.

        So much better than a story about pouring a new basement!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

first house move

     After almost four months of officially owning the noah farm, the big house move day is here.  It started on my husband's birthday, March 23, 2015 and lasted the entire week.  Unfortunately, he had to work almost the entire time and missed most of the excitement.  
    It started with large trucks coming and bringing long "I"beams that would be placed under the house.
     Before the beams could be put under the house, a skid steer starting removing all the landscaping around the house and then punching holes through the limestone foundation and removing the stones so the long "I" beams could be put in.
      Here is a picture of one of the two longest "I" beams being put under the house running from west to east or along the greatest length of the house. 

     Same beam from a different angle.  The front wrap around porch was taken off and the roof braced up during the move.

     If you look closely at this picture you will notice a square cut out in the "I" beam.  This beam is running north-south under the house or the shortest width of the house and the longer "I beam will cross through this cut out section.  You can also see part of the limestone foundation blocks that are left in place until all the metal beams have been placed under the house.

       The skid steer was used to first push/guide the beams under the house and later to pull the house as it slid slowly on the beams.  There were four guys total who worked on our move and if you notice, the guy in this picture has a walkie-talkie in his hand which they all used to communicate with each other. 

     A view from down under. (Funny side note:   When Unruh House Moving company originally came to look at the project, two guys crawled in the very tight crawl space and were greeted by a skunk.  They quickly backed out and fortunately weren't sprayed.)

      The house is now totally off the original foundation and resting on the beams that have been placed in a grid-like fashion under the entire house.  Underneath the beams are jacks and  wooden blocks supporting the structure in four areas. The movers called them giant jenga blocks.

   Front view of house on beams and jenga blocks.

     Now that the house is finally set up, the skid steer goes to work pulling the house onto the new set of beams behind the house.  The actual moving of the house is so slow you can hardly tell that it is moving. The house movers use silicone wafers on the beams to help the house slide smoothly. (They used to use Ivory soap).  This house was moved back two full house widths to make room for the concrete company to dig a new basement.

      If you look closely,  you can see the cable line attached to the beam under the center of the house to the skid steer.

     And now two views from the opposite side of the house.  You can see parts of the leftover limestone foundation and the first set of jenga blocks and beams the house had been resting on.  The summer kitchen which was directly behind the house is also now visible. 

The second move back to the tree line.

     And  finally the house has been moved back two house widths to her resting place for a few months so that a new foundation can be dug.  An exciting week and a fascinating process to watch. 

      We were very pleased with how smoothly everything went.  And just encase you're wondering, . . . there were no broken windows or floors.  Just a few cracks in the main living room wall (which we were going to replace anyway) and the doors were a little hard to open.  Oh, happy day!