Our First Home: Frustrating Foundation Failures

Shortly after our discovery underneath our living room,see previous post (https://gracefuldwellings.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/first-home/ )I made the call to Mark to tell him about the problem we had in the living room.

Mark decided to call one of our friends who is a Mason to see if he could look at it. Our friend agreed and came over a few days later to check out the scene, I decided to have my dad present since he would understand the specifics better than I would. Plus, I was secretly hoping my dad could fix it. Sadly, our friend said we would most likely need a new foundation, and we should find someone who can do it right away. The job was far too big for him to do alone.

Meanwhile, my dad boarded up the opening between the living room and kitchen because it was getting colder as we moved closer to fall and we all knew this wasn’t going to be a project done in a weekend, like the flooring we had originally dreamed of.

Before photo of the back wall of the living room.

Before photo of the back wall of the living room.

I told Mark about our friend’s findings, and he got some quotes. All of which were over $10,000, yes you read that correctly OVER 10K. (and yes we did freak out) By the grace of God, we had someone offer to help us, and we had no choice but to accept or let our pipes freeze and have an even bigger problem! I was concerned about how we would pay him back, but he said it was a gift, not intended to be paid back. I had a hard time swallowing that, but I am learning sometimes you just need to say thank you and let God provide through others.

The work began on the foundation. It was pretty distracting for a graduate student to try to study. We had so many construction vehicles in and out of our yard, you would have thought we were building a new house! Since it was fall in Vermont we came across some rainy days, which turned into weeks, and the company we hired decided we weren’t a priority.  We were not pleased to say the least.  After lots of phone calls saying “you told us this would be done three weeks ago” they eventually came back and finished but it took FOREVER!

IMG_0275 2

Even Oscar was tired of the construction!

Once the foundation was done, my dad could work on the floor joists and the other updates we needed in the living room.

The new floor joists are much more sturdy than the rotting wood you see between the new joists.


Before: Living room entertainment center, ugly and non-functional



We couldn’t understand this entertainment center because it really didn’t seem functional. It also had various types of wood and 4 holes where speakers were supposed to live. We knew when we looked at this house that it would have to go.

It wasn’t hard for us to take out the ugly carpet and for my dad to rip down the entertainment center. What a mess!

As you can see the doorway on the left enters the kitchen and the door to my the left where the sun is shining in is a main entrance with some tiles on the floor as you walk in.

Another scary, during photo!

Another scary, during photo

IMG_0180Of course, you can’t just take walls down without finding wiring, so this slowed down the process a little, but not as much as the foundation did!

As with many old house construction projects we found bumps in the road along the way. Our windows were rotting, so we had to replace those, and we also had a strange thing happening on the back side of our house where it looked as though there used to be a door, but was never properly closed, so we wanted to take care of that too since it probably would cause loss of heat.

So thus far, the projects in process were:

  • Flooring
  • Entertainment center
  • Corn stove and hearth
  • Trim
  • Fan
  • Paint

At this point, Mark was back from his 8 week rotation in Oregon and was staying with my parents for a short time before he moved to another location in Vermont 2 hours away. He came home just in time to help with the flooring and pick out a new stove.

Have you seen enough construction for one day? It certainly was a lot to take in. I was excited when my dad gave “the painter” i.e. me permission to start painting.  I used Benjamin Moore, Rosemary Sprig for the walls.  I love how an entire room changes with some paint!

The right side of the pellet stove shows where the “door to no where” used to live. I was so anxious to start painting I painted around this doorway construction before it was dry!

Looks a bit more cozy now!

Looks a bit more cozy now!

Have you ever had any monster projects appear after purchasing a “new to you” house? I’d love to hear how others coped with this huge stressor in their lives.

By a cozy fire, is a nice place to end on a cold winter’s night. Stay tuned to see the reveal of the entire living room. Lots of great updates!


About Kelly

My purpose in life is to be here (wherever my feet may fall), as a mom of twins, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, counselor and a inspirational blogger.
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8 Responses to Our First Home: Frustrating Foundation Failures

  1. Pingback: Our First Home: The Quaint Farmhouse | Inspiration Crate

  2. Pingback: Our First Home: Revealing the Living Room! | Inspiration Crate

  3. Deborah says:

    WOW! I am so sorry about having all these issues. How frustrating. Thank goodness someone is able to help out. And don’t be afraid to take the help, because otherwise you are stealing their joy. Generosity is a blessing to the receiver and the GIVER.


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