Preparing for Lift Off

[UPDATE MARCH 2016: since this post was written, Leanne and I have entered into a contract dispute with Ridgewater Homes. For more details, click here.]

We managed to fit in a little camping trip to Oregon last week, but now we’re back at it.

Lift off is Friday, August 21st!

That means on Friday Nickel Brothers shows up with their big steel girders and what not and does something like this:

These are two heritage homes that someone bought for $1 on the condition that they take them away from their North Vancouver lots. Everyone in Hammond is pleased as punch that the owners chose our neighbourhood. Read more about them here.

Today, Hammond Forever House came to look a lot more ready-to-lift. Today Ridgewater removed the bottom part of the porch and added support for the upper part.

That will make it much easier to lift the house and pour the foundation under it. I was really gratified to see how much support they added. When the last of the original supports was cut and the posts that had held up the porch hung in mid air, the upper portion did not move at all.

Good job, guys!

It was interesting to see what kind of support existed all this time underneath those impressive looking columns.

It turns out that two 2X4s come down the centre of those ivory-coloured pillars onto a smaller piece of wood which sat on the tongue-in-groove porch floor boards. The same arrangement continued below the deck.

Still, it lasted this long.

This is the work we did about two weeks ago. On the days we have Ridgewater on site, the work goes fast and I can’t take as many photos. That’s not a complaint, but perhaps it’s another reason we’re trying to do as much of the work ourselves as we can!

Since the railings came off in such nice big pieces, it looks like we may be able to reuse them instead of making new ones. That should save a lot!

We also noted that when the stairway was rebuilt about 20 years ago chip board (particle board) was used on the sides. A lot of it was rotten and someone said that chip board is great in California or somewhere it never rains, not in BC. Perhaps with climate change giving us such freakishly dry weather, however, it may become an option.

Whew! There is lots more prep photos to share with you, of course, but it’s 1:24am and I’d better get to bed now. Tomorrow the digger is coming to clear a path for Nickel Bros. to get in close to the house.

Good night! I hope you can come out and watch the house being lifted on Friday!

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James Rowley

James lives in Maple Ridge, BC, Canada with his amazing partner, Leanne Koehn, and their two amazing kids in their beautiful house. He studied Science and English Literature at the University of British Columbia where he met Leanne. He also studied acting for a while at Studio 58 in Vancouver. He works as a teacher of English and curriculum writer for new Canadians.

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