I grant you, it’s not…

I grant you, it's not very impressive, but here's the first signs of work officially starting on our house -- the railings have been removed from the back porch:

They plan on demolishing the rest of it today, preparing everything so that tomorrow (weather permitting), they can start excavating for the foundation (for the new rear addition, creating a mudroom on the first floor, and a master bath on the second). There'll be some jackhammering and carting away of existing concrete pathways (in bad shape), and some pouring of new concrete for the foundation. Also drain tiles, possibly just around the rear addition, possibly around the whole house, depending on cost -- we have a budget meeting on Friday. My timeline currently says:

  • Demolition: 7-10 days
  • Backfill and excavation: 1 week
  • More than one pour (concrete): 1 week
But it's not quite clear to me whether some of those overlap at all. And rain may slow down things unpredictably. Still, I'm hopeful that by the third or fourth week of August, we'll have moved on to framing -- that's the part I'm really excited to see, when they start building the additions onto the house.

Usually, they paint the exterior at the end of the project, but I may ask them to paint earlier. If they can do it in October, my neighbors won't have to stare at something hideous all winter. Winters are long in Chicago, and it could easily be 5-6 months before we got to decent painting weather again. Of course, the down side of that is that the paint job gets 3-6 months of wear before we're even living in the house. I think it might be worth it though, for neighborly goodwill (and my own satisfaction at seeing at least the outside look pretty instead of ugly). Thoughts?

4 thoughts on “I grant you, it’s not…”

  1. I think you should get it painted. You will feel much, much happier. And perhaps you will be harrassed less by annoying yet powerful neighbors.

    But I would ask the painters and Pam what they estimate might have to be done as touchup work at the end and how much it might cost.

  2. Leave the painting until the end, which is where it makes sense. Going through two rounds of painting interrupts the work process and will increase your costs unnecessarily. Don’t give your contractor another headache!

  3. What’s more important than painting is that you get the evelope or shell of the addition closed in. That includes windows and roof shingles. At least get the new wood primed to seal it against the wetness of late fall and winter. The top coat can be added later. The new outside paint should have three coats for the best weather resistance.
    It would be good to get drain tile around the whole house to minimize leakage into the basement. Also when they backfill the excavation they should use granular fill to allow water to drain down to the tile. This will help alleviate the expansion of frozen soil from frost against the basement wall. Also with the excavation open they can apply a water resistant coating to seal the old stone walls. It makes no sense to spend money to finish the basement if the walls will leak and ruin it.
    I hope the contractor isn’t trashing the porch timbers if they can be reused in the future.
    There can be some overlap of activities, but foundation concrete needs seven days to reach min 50% of final strength of 3000+ psi.
    Too much techie talk? Getting the building out of the ground correctly is one of the most critical phases of a project. :^)

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