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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Foundation Work: The Aftermath

The foundation work is pretty much done - we paid them earlier this week. The guy who was in charge of our job came over and we brought up a lot of concerns we had after the wall was finished and they raised it as much as they could. Trent went into the crawl space and looked at it, and he saw a lot of details that they had not paid much attention to, like a board that was rotting that they left connected, the corners not being tied into the other walls, and the floor jacks not being moved to the crucial areas that needed support.  Trent did take some pictures of a few areas he was concerned about and sent them to the guy in charge of the project. He said he was sending them to his supervisor. There's a small possibility they could have someone come out to correct the issues, but we'll see. Trent thinks he can correct them himself if they don't come out, so we're not too concerned.

After they had raised the kitchen on the east side of the house (the side where they rebuilt the wall) the room clearly had moved - they were able to raise it a couple of inches; however, there was almost no support in some crucial areas of the floor, and we later found that the foundation wall in the front was pretty much gone. As in, there is almost nothing there to support the front wall of the kitchen. This caused the kitchen to bow in the center. 

We were left with one wall finished, but no wall in the front of the house, our kitchen still not level, and some major movement going on in the kitchen. You can see where the wall kind of split in the center - here's our beadboard work now split apart -

We were expecting that kind of stuff and didn't see it as too big of a deal since we'll be gutting the kitchen and renovating it (hopefully next year), but some things were pretty major, like our door not being in line anymore. It wouldn't even shut, and there was a huge gap on the side. The night they finished, I picked up some cans of spray foam insulation, and Trent temporarily fixed the door alignment so we would have a functioning door, and sprayed some insulation to help fill the gap and keep the cold air out.

If you look at the trim that meets the ceiling in the photo below, you can see where the room bowed toward the center. This has always been a little unlevel, but I think it has gotten worse with the raising of the side wall. It definitely could have used more support when they were raising it. So this is something that Trent will have to try and fix. We're hoping to get more jacks, redo the floor joists, and eventually put in a new sub-floor, and build a new wall in the front. It will be a lot of work, but hopefully it will all be level and we'll have a blank slate for a kitchen renovation at the end of it all. 

Something else we'll have to live with temporarily is the counters moving away from the wall. Before, the trim was sealed and connected the walls to the counters. Once they raised the room up, the counters broke away from the trim all the way down the length of the wall.

The counters have also split apart where they were connected in the center. You can see the caulking stretched and there is now a huge gap where they once met. The cabinet drawers are harder to open because they hit each other when you try to open them.

It's hard to feel like the foundation work was worth the money when there is so much more that needs to be fixed. But hopefully this is the first step in getting our kitchen renovated (building a new wall has got to be an improvement, right? Even if there were some setbacks throughout the process and it ended up being a huge headache.) I'm not too thrilled that it's almost winter and we'll most likely have to wait until the weather warms up to really do some big improvements. But I guess temporarily we will have to live with the "aftermath" of the initial foundation work. And we'll have lots more work to do!

P.S. - Happy 5 1/2 years to Trent and I today. Time has flown by! Before long we will be celebrating 10 1/2 :). 

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