Still Below Grade

Over the past month, there hasn’t been a lot of visual progress at the site, but here is a quick update.  The basement work is a “go slow and get it right” affair, and since we’ve been planning this project for years, we aren’t in any rush – especially where waterproofing is concerned!  The Cliff’s Notes are the we still have a big hole (“No go down there, not safe!”, as Cora would say), but our basement is taking shape.

The black forms that you see below are a product called Form-A-Drain, which combines concrete forms and drainage in one nice package.  They will stay in place for good as one element of our waterproofing plan for this basement space.

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The concrete footers were poured and then work began to form up the walls of the basement.  This work took time, as the forms are heavy and must be buttressed (see below on the left) and the rebar must be installed prior to the pour.  Below on the right you can see the intersection of the new basement with the foundation of the original Summer Kitchen.  There have been several conversations about getting this right, as it will be a key weak point in making the basement water-tight.

The kitchen pavilion will feature an entryway that curves inward, and below in the center you can see that foundation wall beginning to take its “U” shape:

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And . . . drumroll please . . . the forms are down!:

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Climbing down in the hole and finally experiencing the scale of the basement gave great perspective; we are so glad we added the windows to bring in some natural light.

On the exterior you can see the green spray-applied waterproofing membrane, as well as the insulation which will help climatize the space:

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This picture is taken from the “true front” of the house – you can see the summer kitchen, smoke house, and the Little House in the background.

Also, we had our first real “change order” after our builder suggested we could easily add a 10×10 storage room under a future porch that will run along the Summer Kitchen’s north wall.  Below, about half of the space you see with the new footers was in the original plan, as that is where the exterior stairs go down into the basement (that big gap will be double french doors).  The back half of the space was originally just going to be back filled and under a porch with some foundation work, but for less than $1,000.00 we decided make it a useable exterior storage room.  That’s our kind of change order!

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So . . . still below grade, but the flooring system is on order, and over the next month we can’t wait to see our plans rise above grade!

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