Monday, July 23, 2012

The transformation begins...

Before I give this update, let me begin by saying, yes, I am still pregnant. I am considered three days overdue at this point, and for anyone who has been there, you know it's not a fun place to be. Three days overdue is not that bad, but when there is no end in sight, it doesn't feel good. I thought maybe I'd have the baby today, but now I have no indication that could happen. I will say this much. There is no more room for this baby in me. I am so overcrowded I can barely stand it. I hope this huge baby will decide life on the outside would be better than the cramped quarters he or she is currently enduring. But once again, I have no choice but to wait and see what is going to happen.

Now, on to my update. Anyone who knows me or who has been following my blog at least since last spring and summer knows about the horrible flood that we went through last year. The flooding started in earnest in May 2011 and did not let up until some time in July 2011. Even by the fall of 2011, our water table was still terribly high and was barely below the basement floor, so we knew we were in trouble going into the winter. This spring began as a drought, but it was not enough to lower the water table in our area, and once the rains started to come (and they did), we got water in the basement again. It was not as severe as last year, obviously, and our driveway remained passable and our lawn fairly dry. But we had to use three pumps to keep the water out of our basement and we are still using two of those.

Having been through all of that, we knew we could not continue on this way. After all, we had to rip out all the drywall and insulation on the lower half of the walls in the basement last year and we have not been able to put it back in because it is still wet in there. We can't have mould like we did last year or we risk serious health problems, particularly with a new baby coming. So we are in the process of preparing to move our house. This is a huge endeavour, and a rather overwhelming one at that...particularly financially, seeing the government has determined that our "home did not flood in the summer of 2011". Wow. (I'm in the process of appealing that decision right now, but doubting I will get good results.) We have been researching and planning for a long time, and last Thursday we actually began the process in a tangible way.

The plan is to move the house from where it is onto the ridge that runs alongside our yard. We will have to build a brand new basement on the ridge and then move the house. There is a lot of landscaping that must be done to prepare the ridge for a basement (and a whole house), and also to prepare it for the actual moving of the house. So I will put a few pictures in here to show what it is starting to look like.

This first picture (above) is a before shot. It's not the best lighting, as I took it in the morning and it is a bit shadowy. But notice the line of pine trees in the middle of the picture. That can be a reference point.

This shot and the next one were taken last year. Again you can see the pine trees in the centre.

In this one, the pine trees are on the left and the rest shows the trees that go up the ridge. Hard to see that there is a ridge in these because of the trees, but you'll see in a minute...

Okay, this one (above) is an action shot of the bulldozer coming down the side of the ridge, close to the pine trees. Now you can see there is a large slope there.

The new view from our front deck. Looking very different. 

Now you can see where he cleared behind the pine trees as well. That will be a gradual slope where we will move the house around and onto the ridge. 

Here's the front view of our house right now. I have no before shot of this, but it looks much more bare on the left than it did before, as we cleared a large area for a parking area.

Here's another shot of what the ridge is looking like for the moment. That's where our house will go, eventually.

And another shot of the ridge. It's hard to tell, but it looks much bigger in real life. 

It will be many months before we actually move our house, but hopefully we can continue the process of preparation, and have the basement built this fall. We will see how we do. We are excited about the new location, and mostly we are looking forward to being able to have peace of mind, knowing our basement will not be flooding every year. That will also give us the freedom to finish it, which we cannot currently do, knowing we might have to rip the walls out again if we flood again. Right now, it is looking likely that flooding could be an annual problem, at least for the next several years. It is hard to predict, but we simply can't take the risk. And with baby number four almost here, we can't live forever with just two kids' bedrooms upstairs. The basement will give us another two rooms, which will give everyone the space they will some day need. (Though I suspect there will be a lot of room-sharing for the next several years at least!)

So that's the update on the house situation for now. There will probably not be much more to report for quite some time now, but we will see. The bulldozer operator is not finished yet, and will be back this week with a grader to make our new driveway (not pictured, but to the left of the pine trees) into a proper road. After that, we will have shale and gravel delivered and he will do more work to make it all really solid and well--built. We have never had a proper driveway, so this will be a treat. 

And now I'm off, probably to rest some more. I have stuff to do in town, but I don't know that I'm up for a trip in. Probably not. But Micah turns three on Friday and we are completely unprepared for his birthday at this point. We have been too focused on the baby and on the house stuff. Here's hoping we pull something together on time for him. I don't want him overlooked in all the commotion. Hopefully I will have a baby update soon...but it might not be until August. 

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