Pennsylvania Limestone Farmhouse Renovations to an 1863 farmhouse built of limestone

January 13, 2010

The beginning of the mud

Filed under: Beginnings — Duane Diefenbach @ 7:51 pm

Ok, we are now committed to debt and mud and multiple other disturbances for the foreseeable future.  To celebrate I took the day off work.

The picture below is known as B.C. (before construction). When we are all done there will be no wooden structure on the left side of the stone building, no overhead wires, and the wreath and Christmas tree will be gone. The addition will attach to the side of stone house showing in the photo below.

George Robb (our neighbor and excavation contractor) brought over the trackhoe the night before and arrived at 6am to get it warmed up. It was a balmy 20 degrees F at 7am.  Our builder, Lee Cowan, arrived and the digging commenced. The first thing we learned was how the foundation of our stone house was constructed. I was worried the whole side of the house might collapse when exposed but I think it will stay in place… (knock on stone).

The other issue to deal with upon excavation was the former cistern that served as a septic tank for the past 40+ years. We had installed a new septic system in October and had the old cistern pumped on Monday. How deep was the question. Here’s the answer:

Notice the black stuff at the bottom – it was about 20 degrees F on Monday when the septic service came to clean this out and I don’t think their equipment was working at peak efficiency.  Then notice in the previous photo the door and black spatters – the excavator caused a piece of concrete to send a tsunami of sludge 25′ into the air…the wreath has got to go now!

We get started on footers tomorrow.

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