No Rain for more than a Month

So the drought has hit Southern Indiana pretty hard this year. No meaningful rainfall in several months. Pretty good time to be building, don’t you think?

So let’s quit talkin’ and dig some holes.

Here’s where we left off – the now toothless front foundation.

Starting the dig for the crawl space that will be under the new sun room.

And here’s the general excavation. As all things renovation there are a couple of additional problems to overcome.

Take a close look at the precision brickwork. Looks like the patch I showed you in the basement post a while back. The best we can figure out is that the true mason did the interior walls and block work. A laborer was required to fill in the outside brick anyway he could to support the 8″ block that set on top of the interior brick basement wall. We’ll have to fix this for sure. Scary!

The solution was to dig a deep footer that extends all the way to the bottom of the basement footer on these two exterior walls.

This will be then filled with concrete to make this corner of the building extremely solid.

The other problem was that ding dang tree we cut down a couple of years ago. This was a black oak tree with a root span of 10 feet. It was in the path of the crawl space, and I didn’t want to leave it, as over time it would decompose and create voids in the soil next to the foundation. I also didn’t want a bumpy lawn years down the road.

After 4 hours of digging at this, Shawn called in the ‘equalizer’ from Randy’s Tree Service. Seems like the guys that cut down the tree didn’t do much with the stump. I never called Randy for a quote, but I guess I should have in hindsight. Live and learn. If you need a tree removed, make sure you ask about the stump – take it out if you can.

Here’s John – my really great neighbor that keeps an eye out for shoddy workmanship. He’s the best next door neighbor you could ask for – always ready to help lend a hand. This dude is over 70 and I just hope I’m in that good of shape when (and if)Β  I get there.

So the best way to end a drought is to dig a hole I say.

The day after we dug this we had the largest one hour rainfall in the city’s history. 2.3″!

I always wanted a swimming pool…

Just not in my basement.

Stay tuned.


22 thoughts on “No Rain for more than a Month

    • Who is this guy Murphy, anyways? You’re right, we needed the rain. Now the phone is ringing off the hook – farmers calling to ask me to dig some more holes. Thanks for the positive vibe. πŸ™‚

      • Murphy was an overconfident optimist who went around telling everyone the glass is half full. Despite his cheery outlook, he had a paralyzing fear of the unknown which prevented from actually doing anything. As a result he spent most of his life at Happy Acres Home for the Criminally Insane.

      • Since it was dry before we left heading to Florida and to discover that its been raining there a lot!!!!….sooooo…….I send some rain back to Indiana!…:-)

    • A very good point! Next thing you know the farmers will ask me to come over and sprinkle some tools and insulation in the fields. Reading your blog makes me pretty ding dang hungry – I need a vacation – right after I get the mud out of the basement.

  1. Oh, ugh! That pic of the basement does sadden me. Wouldn’t you know…

    Can we talk crawl spaces? I mean, I understand they give you a little extra storage, but what a pain to work with! It’s like a piece of luggage without wheels or…a cupboard you have to risk life and limb to reach…We had a crawlspace in the house where I grew up – it will make a hunchback out of you in under 5 minutes!

    I suppose if it is really organized, and you only have to use it occasionally. What are you planning on storing in there?

    • Ha, Ha- yep, timing is everything. The basement is all cleaned up now. I know what you mean about the uselessness of crawlspaces – I have a partial crawlspace at the gallery – left over from the old house that once stood there. It’s dirt in there! I’ve had to wiggle in there a couple of times to run cables – no fun. I’m putting in a conditioned crawlspace in, mainly because I didn’t want just a dirt floored space under the sunroom, which was the other option. The elevation is way too tall to use a slab foundation. I’ll have about 4′ in height from the floor to the bottom of the floor trusses. I’m putting hardwood above and didn’t want moisture or critter issues under there – also, I don’t wanna get dirty when I run my hvac pipes πŸ™‚ Call me a wuss, but I’ll be a clean one. I’ll use about 25% of it for extra gallery display stuff and other things we don’t use very often. The rest is just a very nice foundation – or a hiding place if I make the wife upset.

  2. Ugh ugh UGH!!!! I feel for you…my husband has been waging a war against water in the basement for years. Just when he thinks he has it beat, Mother Nature throws a curve ball and reasserts Herself as boss. πŸ˜‰

    • Since this space was waterproofed, it’s been fine. The problem was we had to unhook the sump pump in this area to get at the foundation. Of course, then it rains. And you are right – Mother always wins.

  3. I too, have had foundation drama… the joys of disintegrating concrete in a 1920s house. At least my husband’s a civil engineer! Mother Nature aside, looks like you have the solution well in hand.

    • Hi Jennifer! Thanks for stopping by. Well, you are correct – time seems to make these old girls a little saggy. Nothing that a few tons of well placed concrete won’t cure. I enjoy your blog of wonderful antiques. Thanks again!

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