The cottage’s rear foundation was as astonishing as it was nerve-wracking. It’s amazing to consider that for 187 years it held up a structure. It’s terrifying because it was essentially a pile of rocks placed haphazardly next to each other that would crumble a little if you looked at it the wrong way. I kid, but it was fragile at best. In order to bring the building back to a stable place (physically and emotionally), the old foundation had to go, and new concrete had to come in.
We brought in a mini excavator to dig out the stones and go down a few feet to make room for the new concrete footings that would support our new back wall.
While the foundation was getting swapped out, the back wall still needed to be supported, so our contractor created “bridging” (those large stacks of wood seen above/below). Large beams rested on the bridging and then the wall posts rested on those beams. Preparation, preparation, preparation.
Once cleared of some dirt and rocks, the footings got framed in.
And then the cement truck arrived to get the footings poured. The whole truck was longer than the whole cottage from front to back…I’ll try not to think about that too hard.
Then, the site stayed looking like this for awhile. The framing was removed once the cement footing cured, but then an inconveniently timed cold snap made pouring the rest of the cement wall (that would go up to meet the bridging and floor system), tricky. Ideally, the weather should be above freezing when you pour cement, and we didn’t see those kinds of temperatures for awhile. Thank you New England winter!
So, we put the cottage to bed for a little while over the holidays (please note her pretty tarp-skirt), and were able to spend some time poking through the “artifacts” found in the house. One of those is coming up next.