Mud Wrestling

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

The water table under our house is pretty high (we do live on a sand bar island, after all). To add insult to injury, the rain has been coming down at a good rate, too, drenching everything and everyone.

All of the digging of the previous day cleared out enough room to get a small "bobcat" under the house:


Material was scooped up with the small bucket and dumped onto the ramp to the downstairs:


From there, the big "bobcat" scooped it up and piled it in the yard:


All of this digging down has to be done so we can provide a stable base (at finished depth) for the shoring. (The desired goal is an even surface of undisturbed soil.) By the time I got home, one-third of the basement had already been dug out. The contractors fabricated a wood frame to hold back the earth and installed a sump pump to remove water (sorry for the blurry picture):


As I took pictures, they completed the next hole and sump. Here they are, carrying a new frame downstairs:


Positioning the frame:


D and H go at it (well, not really -- they were trying to stay upright):


The guys look on, up to their knees in mud, while the "bobcat" digs out a space for the sump:


(By the way, if you ever see anything like the above on your own job site, call a halt to work IMMEDIATELY and call your lawyer. Also, don't pay the guy, because if he's anything like Contractor A he's not going to keep any promises or finish the work he contracted to do, and that is probably the best thing that could happen to you.)

Contractor A (who was too cheap to pay for a subcontractor to put in dewatering wells, and thus caused untold damage and endangered many lives in order to make himself a quick buck) fastens some geotextile fabric around the sump box. The fabric allows water to pass through, but blocks particles (like sand and dirt):


posted by noel on 02/15/05