Friday, April 5, 2013

The Addition Takes Shape

Most of the work done so far has involved modifications to the structure my grandfather bought 80-ish years ago.   I recently received the following picture from my neighbor. It shows his father as a boy way out front of the group of cottages in the 1930s.

Assuming Charlie's Dad is in front of their cottage,
Ours is the one to the right of the tall scrawny tree.  
All the changes that had previously been made were generally within the "footprint" of the original structure. Our plans are changing that. And, today the addition we are constructing began to take shape. The footings for the addition were poured yesterday, and today the basement was built.

The B.F. Masonry crew was on site bright and early with pallets of block to be transformed into a basement. And the work went quickly.

The first step was to make measurements and accurately locate the corners,
and lay out the first course of block. 
Many, many wheelbarrows of mortar were mixed.
I was able to look down on the work from a window in the cottage.

 The day was supposed to be clear, bright and warmer than the past month. It was clear and bright. But the west winds over the cold lake water kept the temperatures cold. And, the addition is on the north side of the cottage....which kept any warming the sun may have created away from the workers.

Add a few leaves to those trees and bushes and it would look like a warm summer day.
But the wind over the lake made things quite cold.
I was told that "inland" it was a very pleasant day.
You can see how the shadow of the cottage kept the crew in shade almost all of the day.
Four guys can lay a lot of block in a short time. By mid-day all of the west wall and more than half of the north wall had been completed.

There was a little bit of sun in the morning.....if you were working in just the right spot.
By late morning the work moved up from the ground to scaffolds.
No matter what else may have changed in construction, concrete block needs to be laid
One -- At -- A -- Time.
The addition's foundation wasn't a large job for the crew. But there were a few special features that needed to be dealt with.  The north wall had two windows to be installed. Each window has a course of block above it. To do this steel angle iron had to be built into the structure. And thus, some of the block needed to have special cuts made to them.  Also, we designed a door into the east wall of the foundation. This, too necessitated special cuts to many of the block in nearly every course.  Much of the block could be laid relatively quickly. But the openings slowed the work toward the end of the day.

The windows were first placed to locate the block openings before sills and angle iron were placed.
Two "L-shaped" pieces of steel were embedded in the block above the window.
Two special cuts needed to be made in every row of block -- one on each side of the door.
This created the rough opening into which the carpenter will frame the entry door.
As everyone headed home for the day I looked over the foundation that was built today. There is still a lot of construction to go on above it. But, I could now really picture the addition taking form.

It was a good day....ending a very good week.

The east wall was the last to be completed. The opening is for an entry door.

This angle gives a good idea of how the addition will fit with the existing structure.


  1. Looks great I see the walkout. Most likey will need some kind of wall.

  2. Looking good! So much progress in one week. We are glad we came to see the work.