The Jolly Jumper

DSCN3146[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.]

“What Nickel Brothers wants, Nickel Brothers gets.” That’s how Chuck, our Construction Manager from Ridgewater Homes explained it to one of his crew the other day.

Nickel Brothers are in charge of lifting our house, keeping it in the air for the thirty days or so it will take us to pour a new foundation and let it dry, and then putting it back down.

They asked for six holes, six feet by six feet, to be dug in the basement where their cribbing, the blocks which will take the weight of the house, will go. That means breaking the concrete floor and digging.

While we were discussing this with Adam from Nickel Bros. Chuck looked over at me and asked if the digging was something I would like to do, or should Ridgewater provide a crew to do it. Chuck knows that we are trying to do as much of the work ourselves to save money.

I looked at Dave, my father-in-law who has a wealth of experience, and asked, “ever used a jack hammer before?” He laughed and said, “let them do it”.

Chuck said, “Okay, I’ll find someone to get on the jolly jumper.”

Here is what that looked like:

If you’re wondering why we broke up the basement stairs, it was purely to make it possible to get a wheel-barrow loaded with broken concrete out of the basement. The stairs will be gone soon, anyway.

A word to the wise about disposing of concrete. When you contract with a disposal company such as Disposal King who Chuck called in, you are asking them to drop off a rock bin, take it away when it is full, and dispose of it at a licensed disposal facility.

This means you pay a tipping fee of $250 for 4 yards (whatever a yard is).

Need some concrete fill? Too bad!
Need some concrete fill? Too bad!

The system and the tipping fee is no problem unless you wanted to save money by giving the load to a friend or neighour. Disposal does not mean hauling. Once the bin is full, you have no choice but to pay for the company to dispose of it.

I’m going to find out if we can hire a hauling company for the rest of the basement concrete. There is going to be a lot. I don’t know if I can find anyone who wants that much concrete fill, but if I can make it work, we’ll save a tonne–literally!

Returning to the Jolly Jumper. Ridgewater rented the jack hammer by the day and obviously they wanted to make good use of it. The last hole to be dug will be the one right by the basement door. That is going to mean the wall between the hallway and the old pump room would have to go.

Mark, who was head of the crew, said afterwards the concrete in that wall was as tough as he has ever encountered. They worked on it for an hour or two.

Poor guys. There but for the grace of Dave, go I.

Published by

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *