Friday, November 15, 2013

Chimney Demolition

With our foundation work nearly complete, it was time to move on to the chimney demoliton, one of the bigger tasks of the remodel. In the photo below, you can see how large the chimney base was (the structure on the left side of the photo). It was also smack dab in the middle of the new bedroom, so it had to come out.

We chose a dry day to pull down the exterior section of the chimney.  Chad borrowed a fall protection kit, strapped in, and got to work chipping the chimney apart, brick by brick. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Basement remodel- structural surprises in the north wall

With our new footings dug and our beams replaced/ reinforced/ strapped down on our home's south and west walls, It was time to open up the easier walls to the north and east (easier because they're the "daylight" sides of our daylight basement, and not holding up a ton of earth uphill).  Chad demolished the drywall and framing, which was 12" in from the exterior wall of the house, presumably to cover up the plumbing main.  Once the wall was gone, though, we quickly discovered that the plumbing was not the only thing hiding.  There was also a gigantic hole in the slab, underneath which was standing groundwater.  

In addition to the standing water, Chad noticed a half-inch gap between the edge of the slab floor in the basement, which meant that this groundwater issue had caused some erosion, making the wall of the house move away from the slab.  Yikes. This was not, in fact, going to be the easy wall.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Basement remodel- reinforcing the foundation on our south and west walls

Once we got all of our drywall demolished, we found some alarming conditions in our foundation.  In the crawl space behind the pony wall, on the uphill sides of the house (the south and west walls), we found a number of wooden posts with no footings holding up the rim of our house. 

You can see that the post in the photo on the left has partially collapsed, which was making our kitchen floor sag towards the edge of the house. The post in the right photo is at least straight, but it is holding up a joint in the exterior rim of the house (neither of these conditions are exactly ideal in the case of an earthquake... luckily there haven't been any of those since we've moved in!).

Friday, November 1, 2013

SCCA / Starbucks Cyclocross race

Last week, our team hosted our annual Starbucks Gran Prix Cyclocross race at Marymoor Park.  I haven't been racing this season because my thyroid has been misbehaving, which has made any kind of endurance activity difficult. I headed out to Marymoor to help out with race support, cheer for my teammates, and enjoy the debauchery as a spectator. Our team showed up in grand style, rocking an amazing assortment of costumes and collectively kicking ass. We had a gender bending French maid, and a sporty cowboy.