We were so excited for the crew to start working on digging up around the basement to put in the liner and drainage needed to divert the water away from the house. They brought in large equipment, rock, pipes, boards and other things and soon got to work.
Almost immediately things didn’t go to plan! When they began to dig around the stairwell, it started to crumble!! They soon found out that rather than being a solid structure, the cement holding up the stairs had just been poured over the slope of dirt! The walls were beginning to crumble too around the cracks were the water was coming in, and nearest the end where the door is located.
The scope of work has now instantly increased considerably. In addition to the other work to fix the drainage issues, we now also need to put in a new stairwell box, with stairs, doors, etc.
We were given the option to keep the above ground structure, but we are opting to get rid of it completely and replace the entrance with some low profile doors. The area wasn’t built or sealed up very well anyway, had been a problem for a number of reasons. It will give us a better view from the patio to have it gone. This was a fairly easy decision.
We were also given the option to block up the entrance completely, a cheaper option, but we felt this would be a risky thing to do given the only other access to the basement is via a hatch in the floor in one of our rooms. It’s hard to use and not very large, heavy to lift with a very steep set of stairs. Should we need more work down in the basement – or heaven forbid something major like a new boiler – it would near impossible to do that via the hatch. Additionally, we are worried it could affect the sale-ability of the house.
Since the house was built in 1904, things like this are not a huge surprise, but it is still a MAJOR disappointment. This is not where we want our money to go! It’s like we can see our savings, travel and investment goals vanish before our eyes, all our hard work and savings efforts now going to fund something we don’t even really want to do!
On the upside, one thing that has gone well, our super kind neighbor offered to service our lawn mower, in large part because he’s bored. He promised he’d have it all done today and he did, even shined it up! He also went and bought a new filter / spark plug and sharpened the blade and a backup. That is one of the reasons we like having our base here – the awesome neighbors!