Chit Chat

Growing Pains

House Foundation Issues
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How has it been over two months since my last post. I knew we’d have challenges when we decided to go for our beautiful old foreclosed Victorian (Vicky), but I had no idea how much my life would be turned upside down. 

Our offer on the house was contingent on the bank getting her uncondemned by the City of Bangor. Due to some miscommunication between the bank and code enforcement, our closing got pushed back because of additional needed repairs.  

There were rotting exterior stairs on the back of the house that had to come off. At some point in Vicky’s history, she’d been converted into a 2 unit apartment and the stairs were for the second unit. Well, when the stairs got removed, some of the lower siding came off with it and we found this.rotted foundation posts

None of the cedar posts touch the ground. They’d all rotted away from being in direct contact with the dirt. We’d noticed a slant to the floor on that side of the house, but just thought it was an old house quirk. The bank had already paid for foundation repairs. The rest of Vicky is over a basement with solid walls.

The little cinder blocks you can see in the picture under my son’s hand, is the cheap repair some contractor used to remedy the problem. It was not to code and would have started sinking after a year or two. While this was a huge set back, I am grateful this was discovered before closing. 

We had a few specialists out who reassured us that that Vicky is well built but that part of the foundation had to be properly repaired. We renegotiated with the bank and went ahead and bought the house, still condemned. And a part of me still thinks we were nuts for going through with it. 

We had to demolish the attached faux garage to allow access under that part of Vicky. Bye bye gloried shed that looked like a garage. I’ll really miss you come this snowy winter. 

Maine is a state full of old houses and good foundation guys are booked weeks/months in advance. Because of our particular situation with Vicky, he squeezed us in which still meant waiting over a month. 

The tall black cone next to the green door is a pre-form that is used to help support the house. The foundation guy had to dig down 5 feet under Vicky to put five of these into place and then he had a cement truck fill them.

The foundation repair was finished last week. It was the biggest item on the list of repairs the city wanted to see taken care of. 

Today we had the Bangor Code Enforcement team in to check a number of repairs we’ve done on the house. They’ve given us a certificate of temporary occupancy so we can pull permits as the occupants instead of having to hire contractors for everything because it’s a condemned house. I love the fact my city has recently made it a priority to try to work with home owners while still keeping everyone safe. 

On top of this all, we’ve moved our family twice since this has all began. Yep, if buying a condemned Victorian didn’t make you wonder about me, we moved a family of five and a rottweiler twice in a matter of 3 weeks. Thankfully my husband and his business partner are branching out into rentals so we were able to rent one of the apartments they were buying during its closing. This also gives us the freedom of not being stuck in a lease when we get our certificate of occupancy.

removing drywallSo, this summer I’ve bounced between lots of houses and tried to keep life as normal as I can for my kids and needy dog.  I’ve been cleaning, repairing and organizing like crazy. On top of reading and learning about renovating old houses. 

I can’t wait for school to start so I can get back to my blog and get back to quilting and experimenting. Well, at least between home projects. Guess I need to update my blog description cause there’s gonna be a fair number of house adventures incuded LOL. 

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3 thoughts on “Growing Pains

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