Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Construction Project

Okay, here's the straight skinny on the big mess in our back yard. A few years ago we added an addition on to our tiny abode. First floor level was a room that we had originally planned to be our livingroom with a room above as an office for Roy. (If you could see his area, you'd know why I didn't want it on the main level. Sorry, hon, but we do understand you creative geniuses just aren't bothered by untidiness.) Right now our present living room and kitchen are both squeezed into one tiny, inadequate area.

Beyond this "middle room" added, on the south side we put up the framing of what may someday be a good-sized greenhouse, and on the north, my quilting studio. My quilting area is the only part of this addition that is truly finished.

Good thing we waited a while to finish the remodeling because now we've realized it would be much wiser to make the (middle) room we thought would be the livingroom, the kitchen. So when we're done, the kitchen will be out of the area it's in now, with that whole area being made into just livingroom. Totally confused yet?

Back to the huge hole in the back yard. Originally, we though we would use that little area on the north side of the house as a small, shaded deck. It was constructed with the roof attached to the house and posts holding up the outer edge.

It just so happens that this little deck area is on the north wall of what will now be my kitchen. In designing the layout of the kitchen, I couldn't get in as much storage area (cabinets) as I wanted/needed. A pantry. I need a pantry! So we decided to close in the area of the small, shaded deck (didn't really need it), put a doorway on the north wall of the middle room (now kitchen to-be) leading in to the pantry. Wahoo, am I excited. A walk-in pantry right off my kitchen!

The posts that held the roof of the little (now no more) deck up were set on pads. It was evident that every winter with the freezing and thawing, they moved more than was a good thing. So Roy's plan to give me maximum room in my new pantry was to move the posts out closer to the edge of the roof line, and sink them five feet down (yes, that's how far down our winter frost line is).

So we had our neighbor come over last Sunday with his handy-dandy little digger machine and dig the deep trench for us. One slight problem encountered: For good drainage when we put on the addition, we filled five feet down around the perimeter with washed gravel. It spilled into the newly dug trench. Much of the soil we have up here is what the locals call "rotten rock." It has no structure. It fell into the trench from the other side.

Good neighbor had to be called back to clean out the trench before Roy could start working again. And that's where our big hole came from. I'm trying to convince my husband that at least he has ample room to work in now. And actually, when the posts are in place, it will be easy for the gravel and soil to be put back into the hole with the help (once more) of our neighbor and his equipment. Roy says even if he has to shovel it all back in by hand, it will go back in a LOT easier than it would have come out by the shovel full.

So although things don't always go quite as smoothly (and quickly? . . . that's an understatement) as planned, it's coming along and after spending the whole day today down in the depths, Roy assures me the worst is nearly done. Whadda guy. Ya gotta love his optimism. (But, boy, is he dirty!)


Sue said...

Funny how sometimes it's best to wait a good long time to do some project-and you get to see how you REALLY need things to be laid out.
Good luck with the project....can't wait for picture updates!

Erin said...

Yay, the details finally! We too, ended up doing a whole relocation of the kitchen/living room layout once our walls were down to studs and we could "visualize" it better. Originally we were getting rid of a bedroom to open up our living room but then noticed life would be easier if the kitchen was relocated ... took 3 years to do the whole house but it was worth it! Good luck to you guys in your project! I suppose hubby is now trying to beat the snowfall clock....

MaineCelt said...

Oh, what a project! After this past year's adventures wriggling around in our not-quite-crawlspace, digging with an icepick, I am loving your nice big hole with plenty of shovel-swingin' room!

(wv: "ograbio." O-grabio your shovel-o and shout out, "we dig it!")

Mama Pea said...

MaineCelt - Good point regarding the advantages of our big hole! The original part of our house has only a crawl space under it and we've spent too much time belly-crawling in there so can identify with what your adventures were like this past year. Plus, Roy gets nauseated when he has to lie on his back to work . . . like under a car or in the crawl space. No fun.

"Ograbio?" Do I see a #1 seller on the rap chart?

Mama Pea said...

Sue - Are you saying procrastination is a good thing? Yay!!

Erin - Yes, this time of year snowfall and too cold weather sure does enter into it. But he feels it's a small enough space and if he just gets the outside sheathing on, he's home free. Pretty straight-forward with only one small window to put in.

RuthieJ said...

Sounds like a lot of work to me! Good luck with this project -- I would put up with it too for the promise of a walk-in pantry. :-)

Mama Pea said...

Ruthie - We're trying NOT to think of the work involved! :o)

I am so excited about the pantry area. I have fond memories of my grandma's old walk-in pantry. 'Course, she had like NO cabinets in the kitchen so her's was a necessity! You wouldn't believe my current arrangement and how far I have to walk to get equipment and food products I use every single day!

It will be so much fun arranging my pantry!

Chicken Mama said...

Mom, I'm right there with ya! As you know, the pantry was the VERY FIRST room I asked to have finished in both houses we've owned! Can't live without one!


Mama Pea said...

Chicken Mama - Yeah, I think we have some squirrel genes in our make up. Gotta have that well-stocked "pantry."