Since we are putting a lot of money into this building up front to make it super energy efficient, it only make sense that we are first comfortable that the 160 year old foundation is going to hold up for another 100 years. It seems that everyone agrees that you have to put money into the foundation before worrying about the insulation or the heating system. Since so many people have made this comment, I decided to look up other words of renovation wisdom. This was a fun website: http://www.woodparts.org/. I like this one, “When in doubt, use duct tape.”
So this week, while we’re planning the excavation for the thermal storage system, our excavator pointed out some aspects of the foundation that he thought should be reviewed. To the right is the east wall, which looks pretty good.
The south side of the foundation and half of the east and west walls are only crawl space and they don’t seem to have moved much in the last hundred years.
At the bottom are some pictures of the north and northwest walls, which don’t look so healthy:
We have had a good discussion with a structural engineer and feel comfortable that the four major columns we are putting in from basement to roof the key elements to shoring up the building. So what we decided this week is that we will add jacks to stabilize anything that might want to move during the excavation process. We will be excavating right up to the north wall for the storage tank, and right up to the north west corner in order to fix the area where the rocks have caved in on their own, which you can see in the top picture.
Does this make me nervous? Oh yeah… but I feel like we are getting some good advice, we have a good plan for both short term and longer term, and that we have a pretty good chance of getting through the excavation with the building still standing!
|These two pictures show some of the interesting features of the north wall of the basement.|