Home repair

1st and 2nd day of work on foundation

by on Mar.26, 2009, under Family, Home repair


It was pretty interesting to see the four guys start to dig around our home on Wednesday. Funny thing was that before the men started, they used a grinder to sharpen up the shovels! Only time I’ve ever seen that was in a horror movie. So when the guy looked up at me I just nervously smiled and closed the door.

click images for larger view

Big hole

four men diggingLots of rocksHoffa





Man, this is a lot of work for these guys. They are basically doing it by hand. They just start digging. When I came out to check on them the lead guy asked me, “Was this built on a quarry? There are a lot of rocks.”

Yup – it’s rocky over here. This is why we build planters ABOVE ground. Too hard to dig.

So as I mentioned, they have to dig 33 holes to raise the house. They started on Wednesday after the plumbing test but only got to half of them in two days until the thunder, lighting and rain started so they just covered up everything and then left.

PostsRAIN!covered dirt




They will be back on Friday (early) to start more digging. They will have to break or cut the concrete on the sidewalks so that they can dig there too. Then they’ll drive concrete cylindrical blocks into the ground to shore up the foundation.

We’re hoping they can raise the house by Monday if the weather cooperates. Because we have to get the house raised before we can do any of the carpet or construction inside needed from the water leak we had.

I’ll try to post more pictures tomorrow but my son has a baseball tournament so it may not be until Saturday.


Leave a Comment more...

You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created. – Albert Einstien

by on Mar.25, 2009, under Family, Home repair


Okay so I’m a little far off on the headline but I wanted to throw an interesting twist to my post.

Yes, we’ve decided to have our home foundation leveled. It’s an expensive homeowner cost but well worth it. We love our home, love our neighbors and the area.

We had seen some cracks form the past couple of years and knew the 18 month drought was not helping either. We wanted to get in front of this problem before it got worse and we are glad we did.

I lined up the contractors got our bids and found one that we felt very comfortable with and he even gave us some pointers. He suggested we call the insurance company to make sure we didn’t have a water leak underneath the slab. Funny – we had one later.

post_diagram_markedupThe insurance company came out and scheduled a plumber to test the lines. Good news, we had no leak – Bad news, we’d have to foot the entire bill for the foundation. But again – we love our home. We’d just have to do without a vacation this year (or a flat panel TV *sniff*) but all in all – it’s the right thing to do. Turns out we’ll need to do the entire home, 33 pillars. And guess what? You’re charged by the pillar. Of course…

I wrote a check for 1/2 up front and scheduled the construction work which would take 5 days. Then we had a water leak…rats. This complicated matters but we’re pressing forward.

So, I will update my blog with what’s going on with pictures to show you how it’s done. Plus keep a visual record for me since this is my first time getting a house leveled.

For day 1 – I’ve included some “before shots” of some cracks and also the orange spray paint the contractor used to mark where the holes will be dug. It’s gonna be hard work I know. 

I’ve posted some images below that you can either click on for a larger views and you have three options:

  • click on each image
  • Show as a slideshow
  • or the larger PicLens – pretty cool. 



Leave a Comment more...

A little peace of mind?

by on Mar.25, 2009, under Family, Home repair, water damage


When my boss heard about the water leak we had – he mentioned you could purchase some sort of “shut off” hose. Today while the workmen are digging holes in my yard (foundation) I went over to Home Depot and looked through all of the replacement hoses for the toilet. Ever since the water leak  – we kept the water shut off at the toilet and it was time for me to replace the hose. 

I looked at all the hoses and a white label with blue lettering FloodSafe” caught my eye. The hose “shuts off” if it detects a sudden flow of water –  you know – if the plastic cap to the tank happens to break. 

It was about $3 more expensive but that is such a small price ($7 each) to pay for some additional peace of mind. I bought two and installed the first one and will put the 2nd one on the other bathroom toilet later. They even sell some for faucets too. I’m sure I’ll be going back to Home Depot to see if they have any for the washing machine hoses as well. Every little bit of insurance helps. 

So I’m passing this along to all of you reading this post – check your hoses to see if they are “FloodSafe” hoses – $3 dollars additional is such a small cost.  

I’ve included a picture below and here is a link to the manufacture’s site – you can see the difference on the hose connector that hooks up to the shut off valve. 



Leave a Comment more...

Water Damage!

by on Mar.24, 2009, under Family, Home repair, water damage


Sorry for not posting sooner. We had a major water leak at our home last Tuesday. One of our bathroom toilet hoses broke and it looks as if it had been running for most of the afternoon. Thankfully it was clean water. 

My wife got home first and shut the water off and I was 10mins behind. I quickly began to vacuum up the standing water while my wife called the insurance company. My kids were real troopers – they ran around picking up all they could off the floor. My sister even came over to help vacuum water but we realized it was just too much water and we called a water extraction company and they showed up an hour later.

back porchtolietthe bedroom

click on images for a larger view

The water extraction team finished around midnight that night, pulling up carpet, removing the pad (which is like a sponge) and removing baseboards. Then they put in some dryers and de-humidifiers to suck out all the moisture. These blowers had to run for about 4 days straight. The didn’t pull the last one until just yesterday.

Only three rooms were spared. The dinning room, kitchen and my study. But I’m thankful it was only water. While the house dried we stayed at my wife’s father’s condo to rest. It was close to the kid’s school so we took them to school the next day and practices – we tried to keep them on a schedule. I would then periodically come over to the house to check on it. Man those blowers were hot. 

chair water levelthe hallwaythe blowers

click on images for a larger view

Wednesday I was busy all morning making phone calls and scheduled insurance adjusters, contractors and dealing my work. Our house is in such disarray when the big fans and de-humidifiers were blowing through the house plus all of my son’s clothes are on his bed since we had to rip out his closet shelves to pull out the carpet padding. These drying machines were big and they even tripped our breakers once (while my wife and I were at the house trying to assess damages on Wed) and that scared me so I pulled all my external drives and brought them with me to the condo. My drives are my life.

On Saturday we all came over to pick up the wet stuff and wash it. Then on Sunday I was able to stay in my house. The wife and kids still stayed at the condo. 

So now on Tuesday, I begin my vacation because I’m having the house foundation “leveled.” Yes, that added an extra wrinkle to the problem.

See, you don’t want to put down new carpet or sheet rock if the house is going to be raised! You might get a wrinkle in the carpet or sheet rock may crack. So…we are proceeding with the foundation work. We can’t fix the carpet or sheet rock until the house is raised. The five day construction begins today and will finish next Monday. I”ll post about that too. 

It’s crazy – all this coordination. Thank goodness I work at a job that requires me to juggle multiple projects with some wicked deadlines. Friday, Monday and Tuesday were spent with plumbers, carpet and construction guys. Now to submit it all to the insurance for payment. Then to begin our personal belongings damages.

One thing I’m glad is it was not a fire. We’ve lost some items but I’m glad we still have our home. 

And it’s funny – this has happened to a lot of folks. When I mention it to them, they nod their head and recount their stories. Then I mention the house foundation, they laugh and start to tell me, “When it rains, it pours.”

…well I know we need the rain…but I’m tired of getting wet. 


2 Comments more...

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!