Martin Acres Ranch Remodel Reveals Secrets
You think you know your house. My Martin Acres ranch had sheltered me and comforted me, it had stood strong and stable for decades. But what lies beneath?
For one thing, it wasn’t the foundation that one would expect!
Let’s get some background. In 1955 my house was built. The “Foothills” model. One of a handful of choices in the new neighborhood created from the Martin Family Farm. It was to be known thereafter as Martin Acres.
In 1959 (I believe) the new owners of 285 Martin Dr decided to splurge and have an addition put on the back of the house. They paid $3000 and soon enough the builder had tacked on a living room. The new roof was merged over top of the old roof as you can see here:
Last weeks archaeological dig revealed perfectly preserved 1955 shingles under the roof structure of the addition!
Then there was the foundation. What foundation, you ask? Good question! Nothing much to speak of actually. The original patio located just outside the original sliding glass door – now where you see the French doors – was clearly much to much work to remove, so the builder poured a concrete slap for the new room, directly on top of it. He wasn’t completely silly though; Since the addition was not connected to the house with heating ducts, it required another heat source. A fireplace was put in on the north end and a large brick chimney needed to be constructed. The builder had the presence of mind to “thicken” the concrete and pour something that might have, at some point in time, passed for a foundation beneath that fireplace.
So it was with whoops of glee (not) my three guys set about excavating that enormous chunk of concrete this week. It left quite the hole in the ground, which is just fine considering our next phase… Excavation prior to pouring footers and a REAL foundation for the replacement living room.
What you see in the foreground is that chunk of fireplace support. The guys tried to convince me that we should repurpose it in the backyard as a Stonehenge type pagan symbol. Could it be that they are not looking forward to jack-hammering that thing into smaller pieces, lugging it out to the front yard and tossing it into the trailer?!
Truth be told, as I plan ahead to moving in September, there are probably plenty of things I’d like to sacrifice at the alter of needless material possessions and it wouldn’t hurt me to have some sort of cleansing ritual either… But in all my visualizing for this project, I just never saw Mark and I dancing around a motorcycle sized piece of 1959 concrete. Go figure!
Another update on the Xcel power saga? Sure.
Well… the power is still connected to the house. Despite obtaining instructions from “Sally” at Xcel in February regarding the temp power pole and paperwork requirements, it appears either the rules have changed or “Sally” was not the right person to be giving advice in the first place. There are still approximately 3 people (in a chain fashion) that need to receive the work order for the temp power hookup job and not until the last person in line gets the work order, will we be able to get any sort of timeline for when the job will be done.
Heads up Comcast! Xcel is giving you a run for your money in the customer dissatisfaction department. Don’t worry, you had an enormous head start and it will be tough to knock you off your podium!
In the meantime, just a friendly reminder to all reading this: I’m blogging and taking pictures as often as I can so you can see progress without visiting. My house is private property. It’s not safe and it gives me anxiety to think that when I’m not around, you might decide to fall in a hole, step on a rusty nail or touch any of the stakes and lines that the builder needs for work at my house. Feel free to call me anytime if you want to chat or visit with me…. But please don’t go over without an invitation. 🙂