Sunday, March 13, 2011

A little {expensive} hiccup ...

Approval came back from the city within two weeks.  We were surprised because they aren't known to move that quickly.  The plans came back with the usual caveats, and a small note that we'd need a geotechnical engineering report.

No biggie - it would cost $1200 which was annoying, but we were excited to begin.

The excavator arrived at the beginning of November. 

The deck had already been taken down, and all that remained was the concrete pad under the old deck.  Our excavator, Jack, made quick work of the concrete.

Other than the fact that the digger went through the ground like it was butter, our first clue that we had a problem was when the pad was removed to reveal these piling caps.

Anyway, to make a long story short, our house was built on pilings. Which we had already known, but the full ramifications would become apparent over the next month as the costs began to mount.

Our geotechnical engineer wanted soil samples, so this interesting rig showed up in our backyard to drill down, revealing that we had insufficient structural fill that would not support our structure without some serious engineering assistance.  The rest of the house was built on 31 pilings - so that wasn't going anywhere.  But if we wanted to build we were going to have to go to some extraordinary lengths.

At this point, we had to decide whether to proceed or to abandon the renovation completely.

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