Foundation of the Foundation
NOTE: As of September 23, 2009, this post has been edited in
accordance with a court-mediated settlement. The names of the
contractor and his excavation subcontractor have been replaced with
We had a meeting today with our general contractor for the foundation work, Contractor A (that's the guy who would eventually nearly destroy our house and end up threatening us such that we had to call the police to have him removed from the job site) of Contractor A Construction (the hand-down single worst contractor we've ever hired, and that list includes the guy who got sent to jail for defrauding the state). Contractor A (in case you were having trouble following this, he's the guy who showed up drunk on the job site) has been incredibly open and forthright with us [edited to add: please read other entries about this project rather than relying on this early estimate of Contractor A's character (further edit: he's the guy who sabotaged the job site when he walked off the job)], and willing to work with us on refining our checklist of things to get done during this process. He's also probably going to make it possible for us to put in a basement right away, which would really make a huge difference in our quality of life (because all those tools could move from the hallway and living room down to the basement).
They're going to start work next week or the week after, now Contractor A (remember: the guy who failed to dewater the site properly and then tried to hide the damage from us) tells us that he has pretty much determined that there's no water table problem in the depths required for shoring and the future basement. Contractor A's guys are going to come in and remove the old chimney and repair the roof hole, which should make quite the mess, but get rid of the need to keep a bucket on hand in the Front Bedroom. We're looking forward to just having that done. Hopefully, the bad roof work around the chimney is the only reason why that leak is happening, or at least the major one.
The first step on the foundation itself is for Contractor A's guys to dig holes that the cribbing will rest in. Alameda is a sand bar island, so they have to dig down pretty far to get to soil stable enough to support the house that way. Then the shoring subcontractor (the one who ended up driving a bobcat into the side of our house) will show up and send several long steel beams through the house from the front (one of which will go through the location of my little magnolia tree, so I have to dig that up and put it in a container sometime this week), set the cribbing under them and then our house is supported for the duration of the work.
In the mean time, we have some work we need to get done:
- Noel needs to do some electrical work, which can save us a bunch of money on an electrician, so Contractor A (who made a total hash of the wiring work and then told us it had been done by another person, who we later determined does not exist, at least not as a licensed electrician in California) has power for all his tools and lights and stuff.
- We need to finish up the insulation under the house, because there will be a lot of dust, and Contractor A (the one who would end up destroying the insulation that we'd installed by pulling it down and dragging it in the dirt) really doesn't want us to have to pay for cleaning it up when it can be prevented.
- There's the aforementioned tree movage.
- There's clearing all the stuff (including all of John's many bicycles) out of the basement (and where will they go? Good question: the dining room and living room).
- There's getting all the many cars we're storing for people in the driveway (it's the proximity to the airport and the fact that we basically have a parking lot that makes us generous with parking space).
- There's removing the crappy old fence/gate thing so heavy trucks can drive into our back yard. We're going to have to make some allowance for dog exercise with that gone, preferably one that will not get in the way of the workers. Contractor A (the guy who we'd later have to put up a fence and security system to keep out of the site) has offered to lend us some temporary fencing.
- We're going to lose the front steps, so we need a mailbox for the duration (we can probably just move the one we have to the side door). We'll also need some kind of signage for service people like the UPS guy and the mail carrier, so they aren't totally confused.
- We may lose the back steps, too, so that's something to consider.
- We have to finish the mudding and taping in the Front Parlour, but we don't want to paint until after the chimney is down and we can cover up the hole the guys are going to make (actually, they're just going to unscrew the drywall, and we can screw it back up).
Noel has promised to take pictures. Which means that at least once a week I will post them, if he doesn't get around to it (slacker).
posted by ayse on 12/29/04Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.