Friday, March 8, 2013

One Week Into the Project

Our contractor began work at 3283 on March 1st -- one week ago today.

I'm told that the work is generally on schedule...though to me it seem that things have been happening fast -- very fast.On February 28 the cottage looked much like it has for the last 20 years or so. The next day excavators began stripping the soil back around the perimeter of the house.  Today, the lawn has become a sea of thawing topsoil, mud, and excavations.

House-Jack posts and timber cribbing support the eastern corners of the structure. The front porch floor has been removed and replaced. Crew members hand excavated [dug with shovels] up to the center of the cottage where the fireplace foundation is.  They spent much of today chiseling through those concrete blocks to allow support beams to be installed.

 A trench has been started under the southwest corner of the cottage. This trench would likely have progressed further -- and the cribbing may have been installed -- but the mostly-problem-free week ended with a mechanical malfunction to the Cat. The crew assures me that a replacement will be on site Monday, excavation and crib construction will continue, and the first of the beams will be in place.  

I expect that the structure will be jacked up off the remaining foundation toward the middle or end of next week.  Its now the weekend. Construction takes a break. Bobbie and I will make some decisions on windows for the addition and an alternative entry arrangement for the back porch. So, no new blog posts until next week.

Patrick tales one of the first few buckets of sand out from the southwest corner.
The depth of very fine and non-cohesive "beach sand" is much deeper on the west  side.
The excavation has extended below the front porch.
I'm glad there is a new floor and floor joists to support the walls.

The trench into the southwest corner had to make a sharp turn around the buried stump of the tree that was removed.
The stump was 'ground" by the tree removal guy but it went much deeper than the grinding machine could be effective.
A look at the southwest corner at the end of the day.
Dan Deitz and Jeff are about half way under the house. They are looking at  the
concrete block foundation that supports the fireplace and chimney. 
Jeff has one opening completed under the fireplace [ the jack is providing support].
He has started to chisel through for the second opening.

Oh, one more thing.
If you are reading this blog, please leave some comments.
I'd like to know that I'm not the only one who's reading what I write.


  1. Boy has a lot happened in one week! You are taking some great pictures...thanks for sharing this whole process. Retirement seems to be suiting you. ;)

  2. Wow! This is amazing! I've never seen anything like this before. Sue speaks of how special this place is.... Growing up in Chicagoland, we would go to Michigan a lot. What a view of the lake!

  3. John, can we have some of that bermed sand for Chrysler Beach? or our Soo beaches? :) The progress looks fantastic!
    We have two pallets of flooring and insulation at our house. New recessed lights have also been installed in the living room (none were there before). Maybe I should should start a blog too!

  4. I am enjoying your very thorough (and often humorous) adventure! It also seems like they are progressing so fast. One day it was the cottage and the week later it's not. I can't wait to see the finished project.

  5. Lots of progress! Looking "good" (or at least how it should at this stage. :) )

  6. This might surprise you, but I'm reading it too. Daniel Deitz

  7. How exciting! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Jen and I have only had the priveledge of visting the cottage once with Mike and Lindsay but it definitely has a place in my/our heart. Glad it's being taken care of so well :-)

  9. What a interesting project! Thanks for taking the time to share your observations and the photos are great. I'm curious: Has there been much cracking in the existing plaster or tile?
    Thank You.


    1. The majority of the interior is finished in wood or wood paneling. On the second floor there is drywall. Thus far there has been no effect on the drywall. As part of the lift we asked that a section of floor that was not level be slightly raised. This caused some minor buckling of the paneling in that area. But, this was not unexpected....and would have not happened if we didn't adjust floor "slope."

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