Our fixer upper was in really poor condition and this is how we worked on the excavation and foundation repairs.
Nate recalls how we had a foundation company come out to give an estimate and it was not good. They basically said that what we have is a house that he would just demolish and rebuild.
CHALLENGES WITH OUR FOUNDATION AND LOOKING FOR CONTRACTORS
Since we are in a historic district, we would not be able to do that. The contractor was saying that the house sits low and water was going to just continue to go under it so they would have to do some type of irrigation on the outside and then they would have to fix a lot of the wood in the inside, just to get the floors level and get rid of the rot everywhere. He said it ain’t worth it. So we’re gonna go with the guy that says it is worth it!
We had hope for our tiny little fixer upper in such poor condition and were determined to work on the excavation and foundation repairs. It was time to bring this little old grandma back to life!
You can also watch a video about this here.
TIME TO START EXCAVATING!
Now we need to tackle the foundation and more real excavation. In our prior blogs and videos, we barely scratched the surface on that one. We really just cleaned out the foundation, but now it was time to actually dig it out. And I mean dig a lot of it out!
Nate started to excavate and wanted to see how long it would take to get a little area done. It’s supposed to be 16-18 inches below the bottom of these boards right here (under his foot) so you can crawl through there.
Well, good news, we got the foundation guys in! So, what they’ve been doing is digging out the crawl space because there’s no room under the boards. It’s just basically almost built on the ground. Digging and more digging! They are taking all the dirt and putting it outside the house around the barrier, which will help raise up the level of the land and then the water will hopefully run off instead of toward the house.
PREPARATION FOR EXCAVATION AND FOUNDATION REPAIRS
Nate removed the flooring to make it easier for the contractors to begin excavating. It is great to finally get to this project! I thought we were going to have it done the first week. And then the third week, we finally get foundation guys in and they’re digging and digging. There are dirt mounds all around our house. It’s crazy! Our poor neighbors!
It’s kinda cool because now we’re finally seeing some progress being made and we see new beams being put on the foundation so that’s a relief! All of that old and rotted wood is being removed and the foundation repairs are beginning.
The foundation engineer and contractors were doing a great job with everything. It’s a pretty big job they are working with. The contractors need to dig 18 inches below the floor joist or 12 inches below the beam.
EXCAVATION AND FOUNDATION REPAIRS – PROGRESS BEING MADE
After hours of digging, they got all this dirt out right here.
Nate continued to help out by tearing up the floors and getting it prepared for the guys to come back for more digging.
He still had some of the flooring to take out. This way they can see what’s underneath it better and remove any rotted wood. This was to make sure it’s done right. They worked on digging for several days to get as much done as possible.
We have a pier and beam foundation so the contractor helping us to excavate also replaced the rotted beams in the foundation. Another step towards tackling the really poor condition our foundation was in.
REFLECTING ON OUR FIXER UPPER EXCAVATION AND FOUNDATION REPAIRS
Now it was time to take a look at the progress being made on our fixer upper in poor condition and the results of the excavation and foundation repairs.
“What’d you get me into?” I asked Nate as I looked at all the junk in front of our new house! He chuckles and offers to give me a tour around the place to see the progress.
He points to the stack of wood planks under the windows and says they are all from one room! I notice even cement piles in the mix. There is so much dirt around the perimeter of our house that it seemed like we could almost just turn our whole yard into a garden! It actually looked like really good soil.
Working on the foundation has been a bit tricky for us, as again, we are new at this and have no experience. But, we do realize that the foundation is very important and we will figure it out! Nate had some really good thoughts about this as well while we reflect on what lies ahead for us.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Words from a wise man – my husband, Nate! He says the Bible talks a lot about strong foundations and the value of foundations in general. It’s even related to homes because it talks about how building your foundation on the sand and things like that not being a good thing, so foundation is a very important thing for a home or anything. You want the core to be built well and the rest of it is built around that foundation.
Thanks for joining us on this journey! We hope that you will find inspiration watching us learn as we go while we’re attempting to renovate and rebuild this old small historic home mostly on our own. Stay tuned for more progress updates ahead!
CHECK OUT OUR VIDEOS
If you want to see how we reflect and plan for more DIY renovations and a video about how we make plans for our bathroom layout, click on the links below.
SMALL FIXER UPPER | DIY DEMO REFLECTIONS AND PLANNING
Hi Charlene, Wow! What a journey so far. My little boys would love seeing this stuff. I look forward to seeing more of your progress. 🙂
Thanks, Jessica! It truly has been a journey and learning process. I hope your boys enjoy as my big boy (hubby) just loves to work on these types of projects. Wonderful and practical skills to be learned!
Diane Gail says
Repairs to foundations can be tricky. It sounds like you’ve got this though. Best to you as you forge forward 😉
Thank you! We are trying. Appreciate your encouragement! 🥰
Brad MacAonghais says
Honestly, this is kind of action suspense for me as foundation’s are so scary. Good on you guys for attacking this project
Haha! Right? 😁 We are doing our best! It’s a great learning opportunity. Since it’s an older home, we realize it won’t be perfect, but we have come a long way already!