Adventures in Renovation: The 3 R’s

If you recall, my husband and I in the midst of a pretty substantial renovation.  We’re adding about 1,200 sf to our house — there will be a kitchen (yay!), dining room, living room, 1/2 bath and a laundry room.  Underneath….a full basement.  Lots of great, usable space!

Adventures in Renovation It's a Keeper

The floor plans

The project should have started this past fall.  But, for various reasons, things got held up and we had to wait for spring.  So we not so patiently waited for all of the snow to melt.  Even the freak snow we got at the end of March….grrrrr.

Once the ground thawed enough to dig, we hit the first “R”.  Rain.  Every stinking day.  Rain. Rain. Rain.  And, just when thought we could see the sun…more rain!

Once the rain (finally) stopped, we had to wait for ground to dry up so that the excavators could drive their heavy equipment across our property without sinking.  So you know that meant?  More waiting.  Now, those of you who know me, know that I am NOT a patient person.  This waiting thing really stinks!

Finally, on May 2, were able to start digging!  We were thrilled!  First the trench for the drain system:

Adventures in Renovation It's a Keeper

The Drainage Trench

Then, they started digging the hole.  The very, very big hole where the foundation will be poured.

Adventures in Renovation It's a Keeper

The start of the massive hole for the foundation

After a day or so of digging, we hit our second “R”.  ROCK! Lots and lots of rock.  Lots.  Check out the ledge in the photo below.  They had to dig at least 9 feet deep through that huge rock ledge.  And the ledge covered pretty much all of the area that we needed to dig through.  Not fun!

Adventures in Renovation It's a Keeper


Rather than blasting, the contractor opted to use this monster buster thing!  It’s a pretty neat piece of equipment, basically a huge jack hammer on the end of a excavator.  A 5-year old boy’s dream!  Not so much a dream for our budget.  That sucker costs $1,600 per day!  And we needed it for several days!  Needless to say, we’ve blown the excavating part of our budget out of the water.

Adventures in Renovation It's a Keeper

The BIG rock buster

Those poor guys that did the digging worked hard for every single inch! I really felt bad for them.  They kept referring to our project as “the hole from hell”!  Even the parts of the hole there weren’t solid rock had massive boulders.  Check out the little pile in the photo below.

Adventures in Renovation It's a Keeper

Pile o' rocks

So, the next step in this adventure is to pour the foundation.  The masons have been chomping at the bit to get in there and do their thing.  But, you know what….here’s the third “R”.  More flippin’ rain!  This week is all rain.  Seriously?!?

I don’t know how much longer I can patiently wait!  I just keep telling myself it will be worth it in the end.  And, dreaming of my new kitchen with double wall ovens.



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    Hi! I'm Christina, the chief cook and bottle washer here at It Is a Keeper! I scour cookbooks, recipe boxes and the internet to bring you only the BEST recipes that have my seal of approval. Most of my recipes are easy enough for busy weeknights and simple enough for those that think they can't cook. Thanks for stopping by!

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    1. Bev says

      Can’t wait to see photos of when they start to build – how exciting for you. Cristina have you ever thought of writing a cook book for bloggers ? Home Ec 101 has a book out now and it made me think of It’s a Keeper. There’s been too many times lately I’ve relied on take out-it would be fun to have a cookbook with the blogger in mind : D

    2. NPO says

      I promise it will all be worth it when you are able to use your beautiful new kitchen. Look at it this way – if you didn’t have all that rock, you’d still be waiting for the mud to dry up so that they could compact it. At least now you know that the foundation won’t move :-)

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