Trust that I wasn’t late on Thursday July 12th for the transition of the house from traveling beams to the foundation. I wanted to be there and see the whole process; in fact I took so many pictures that I ran the camera out of battery and had to borrow one of the mover’s cameras to take the final two pictures.
The previous evening the house had been put on the cribbing; it was amazing how much it had settled. That morning they jacked it up and built the cribbing back up so that once again the house could sit on an angle while they took out the *dollies*. They then repeated this procedure on the second side (see photo 1).
The sliding beams were then positioned on the exterior walls of the foundation and underneath the house. This actually proved to be a bit more challenging than usual as Ron and I had brought the vapor barrier material (see the black stuff in the picture) all the way up and around to ensure that the basement wouldn’t have any leakage issues. It was slippery and the beams kept sliding around on it (even with the house on it which was a bit unnerving to say the least). (See photo 2)
The two trucks were now positioned so that they could pull the house onto the foundation. The pictures don’t do it justice as I needed a tripod to see the actual movement of the house over. I found this part very tense as Andy directed the two drivers to pull just the right amount (something no photos could really capture but I have included photo 3 and 4 to try and show the action).
The house was then squared up (see photo 5). The vapor barrier was a bit of an issue as slight movements were often exaggerated but in the end Andy’s experience set the house down exactly where it needed to be. One corner was a bit tight (as in less than a ¼”) but nothing that we couldn’t live with. The house was now temporarily secured in place with metal plates and chains.
There was some concern expressed at this point about the structural integrity of the walk out wall and whether it would hold the weight as the house set down. Not a very reassuring thought after surviving the trip! Ron made an emergency site visit and I added some addition 2 x 6’s to the steel beam support column (and in the long term we will have the engineer who designed the wall come and take a look just to be on the safe side).
Meanwhile Andy and his crew set up the jacks in the basement. Due to the height of our basement walls it was a bit more work than usual but the team smoothly got things in place. The house was then jacked up on one side and the beam was removed (photo 6 shows the three jacks with the beam just pulling out of the end of the house). This process was then repeated on the second side although some additional bracing was put in place to ensure that the house didn’t slip around. The beam was then removed (see photo 7 for one last view of the house with a serious tilt). The jacks were then carefully lowered and the house gently settled into place but not before there was a bit more strong language about the dormer windows and the plaster/lathe underneath that impeded the stress free set down. Once the house was completely down I took my first full deep breath of many hours and did indeed breath that sigh of relief.
Photo 8 shows the crew; from the left Don, Travis, Andy and Danny. Mission accomplished despite some trials along the way and a few issues with the deposit. It was a pleasure working with all of them and it didn’t even hurt to cut the check (well ok a little but only because the price changed due to the issues).
Andy and I did a house inspection after and I was a little freaked out to feel the dining floor bouncing as we walked across it. Andy said it is common for houses to settle for up to 2 weeks after deposit. I have made it sound simple and easy but it really takes a professional team to make it look that way.
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