Tuesday, 1 October 2013

It's a big, big hole in the foundation...

12 in deep x 30 in wide footing poured into hole in foundation
Ready to start laying the bricks and stones
 Sometime ago, many years in the past, the previous owners of this house decided to put in an oil furnace and tank and to add some electrical wiring requiring some electric conduit.   The entry space into the house foundation needed to be about 9 inches x 9 inches.  Granted, the foundation is field stone and quite thick but instead of knocking out one or two stones and making the hole easy to fill, they opened an area the size of a window.  To make matters worse, when they were done the work, they didn't actually fill the gaping hole back up and seal it.  Instead, they tossed a bunch of rubble brick and stone in the hole and put some plastic over it.  They left it.  They left a hole in the foundation large enough to let in animals larger than raccoons, skunks, possums, mountain lions and quite possibly even bear cubs.

We found the hole by accident, when my guys decided that the front flower beds weren't salvageable and were digging them completely up.  They found the seemingly massive hole in the foundation, which was loosely packed with crumbling and disintegrating rubble and had the remains of decades old plastic sheeting, shredded and pretending to offer some sort of protection against the elements and fauna of the area.

Yeah!  Almost done!!!!
I didn't get a photo of the actual hole before the repairs were started.  However in order to facilitate the brickwork, 3 bags of cement were needed to pour a footing about a foot deep. The hopes were to provide support for replacement masonry work.  Several bags of mortar were then used to do the brick and stone work to fill up the hole.  The whole job took the better part of a week and there is still a bit more to finish up, although it is work that can be done from the inside.

It continues to astound me when I think of how many short cuts and cheap solutions the previous owners took instead of just doing a job correctly the first time.  It's like every single simple repair or reno has turned into an epic repair job, even just removing wallpaper or changing out an appliance, sigh.


Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Wow that was quite a big hole! At least you discovered it before some big animal decided to make a nice winter home!

Leigh said...

There oughta be a law against previous owners! We have scratched our heads over so many things done to our house. On the other hand, those who follow us will probably be doing the same thing.

Woolly Bits said...

foundation? what foundation? when we started on the old cottage here, we discovered that most of the walls have barely any, some none at all! and to make matters worse, some of the sheds have big (natural) stones as a base, and underneath they just filled in whatever rubble they could find:( of course, when you want to build a chimney, you better do something about the foundations. so we had to dig under part of the wall, fill the foundation, dig another part, fill in and so on... not such a great feeling to dig under a wall without anything to hold it up! I think all the old smaller houses have "built-in" surprises like that - the alternative is to buy a derelict castle and work on that:)