Audio Transcript:

It has been a delightful week at 604! We dug for the new foundation. To recap, this home is a two bedroom, one bath that has seen better days. Let’s just leave it at that. And the owners —  high school sweethearts — inherited the home from parents and decided they wanted to retire in the home. And so, two bedrooms and one bath, which, by the way, were all in deplorable condition, isn’t enough space for them and they decided they wanted to add a bedroom and a bath to make the home a three bedroom two bath. The expansion really created what we call a master suite, which is a larger than average bedroom, a nice bathroom and a walk in wardrobe. We’ve been spending a lot of time in the last couple of months repairing interior framing, substandard wall framing, substandard ceiling framing, substandard floor framing, and doing all of that work. But the weather has cleared and now it’s time to dig the foundation, which we have done. And this week has been devoted to forming the foundation, installing the steel and getting ready for what will be just under 40 yards of concrete — considering the thousand square foot garage slab, the foundation for the house, and the piers in the crawlspace. Forty-eight piers!

The house was sitting on concrete blocks that were sitting directly on dirt – precast concrete blocks that one would normally buy at the home center that would be used to build a deck – certainly not a home. Well, you could build a home on them if you put a foundation under them and there was no foundation beneath. So we dug holes and there’s nothing like digging holes in a crawl space because you have to use a little roto hammer to dig the dirt. There’s no room for a shovel or any regular pickaxe and that sort of thing. So it was a long, arduous task but we completed it and the inspector came by and immediately found a couple of piers that were not as deep as we had asked them to be and we told him – “thank you very much!”

We got the crew back down there and now it’s just beautiful and it’s awaiting concrete.  Lots of concrete is going to be poured down there. And Morris had more fun tying steel and putting up forms — what little he did (LOL) — and it was just exciting it reminded him of his first days in construction.

James: Boy, you’re really sharp when it comes to doing foundations! That’s one of my weakest points. There are many weak points but that’s among my weakest because I didn’t have the opportunity to get into that as nearly as much as you did. It is just so much fun to watch you do a foundation!

Morris: There are two things that carpenters typically don’t get a lot of experience at. And it’s a shame because in the old days they did. One is foundations and the other is roof cutting. I have to tell you that it’s hard to find a carpenter today that can do normal framing construction, cut a roof and do a foundation – all in one guy.  And the guys who can do that are kind of extraordinary. In these days of specialization, it’s kind of funny because in the trades you don’t have to go to college — all you have to do is work in a place where you can get some experience.

Although the foundation was the primary task at hand, the garage has a toilet and a deep sink so we had to plumb for that. We also installed a brand new sewer lateral —  a sewer line from the residence to the municipal sewer.

This house was has been brought down to a shell. We’ve reconstructed the entire interior of the home. We have put a new water line from the house to the street. We’ve put a new sewer line from the house to the street —  a one-inch copper water line. We have rebuilt the laundry room, which was rotten and improperly constructed. We’ve rebuilt the bathroom, which was a cantilever that was sagging an inch and a half in two feet and put a foundation under it. We’ve redone the entire foundation under the home. And somebody came by and we were chatting and he said; “my gosh, with all you’re doing you probably could have leveled the house and built it for less money.” That’s true —  except for the fact that it was one of the first homes in Brentwood and it has a rich history. It was the home of the first medical doctor in the city of Brentwood and it’s one of the oldest homes in the community. So we’re trying to maintain its historic integrity and its historic value. And we’re just I’m just having a ball.

We call it 604 Second Street — a historic remodel. That’s our update for this week. Check us out for next week’s update.