Yesterday morning our house slowly lowered and settled onto its new foundation. Like riding a cyclone from OZ the house quietly dropped until the fronts of the bay windows touched down, then came the sounds, creaking, cracking, and tearing. When the dust settled and the smoke cleared, she was down and sitting exactly where she should, proudly on strong concrete walls that line up exactly with the footprint of the house. Nearby the 140 year old brick foundation, now nothing more than a sad pile, sits and awaits its new duty as the floor of the wine cave and the adjacent large basement floor.
Reality check... Now that the house is sitting proud, the real work begins. In the next two weeks huge changes will take place on the back of the house. Jim Glazier and his boys will be framing in the new breakfast room, the rear of the kitchen, and the master bedroom. Above the new master they will add the fifth bathroom space and the new roof line. Add to that a brand new roof for the whole house and we will be on our way. At that point its up to us for the most part. Phillip and I will start stripping the inside walls of their lathe, plaster and trim, carefully removing the woodwork for re-installation down the road. In looking over the engineering plans we have come to the reality that sheer walling will be our enemy. In my conversations with the engineer I was lead to believe that we were only sheer walling the new construction and the very front of the house. Boy was I wrong! The plans call for every exterior wall in the original house, all three stories, to be sheered on the inside with 3/8 inch plywood. I am desperately trying to wrap my head around how we make this work. We have limited thickness available to fit in plywood, blue board, and plaster. I fail to see why a house that has stood for 140 years is better off being turned into a rigid tinder box. But... suck up and bust! and figure it out. If folks that are smarter than me tell me that is what must be done, then so be it! Everyone who knows me, knows I am not one to buck the system, and I politely and graciously do as I am told.