Monday, February 24, 2014

crawlspace horror - part 1

jambaloney here!!!

first off - winter is still upon us... pretty though!!!

okay i left off my last post with a pic of a bottle jack - here it is...

where is it... under the crawlspace - i am finally getting to the job of  adding support to the older half of the manor.. you will see why i waited so long in a few... part of the job is preparing the footings. they will be slabs of concrete with pressure treated lumber glued to them - had to dry out the pt lumber as my `lumber yard lost the tarp!!

 k helped me draw out a nice plan of the floors and walls..

and i found the old plan for the greenhouse roof... ah memories!!

here is the upstairs it turned out, it was impossible to apply in the crawlspace - you will see why....

 oh - a tip to you circular saw users - this diablo 40 tooth blade it the best i have found so far - get one!!!

 see that buried phone pole?? it is holding up two railway ties which support the floor joists - this single post is carrying about 1/4 the load of the whole 1/2 of the manor - great job butt-head (previous owner)

so in we go!!! you can see the plug for the hotub and wiring for the bathroom heater - both my work and well installed!

garbage from previous owner..

squirrels have wreaked havoc on my insulation job... we had a weasel in the basement that i THOUGHT would keep them clear.. alas our young cat didn't take kindly to him.. nuff' said!

hey look - greywater from the bathroom sink!!!

 i |THINK this was supposed to be extra support - too bad it isn't!!

here is one of the middle railway ties connected to the concrete foundation with.. uh... ??????

oh yes.....  the concrete foundation, you might remember that buddy left all the framing in place to assist in collecting mold and rot  - the foundation is buckling a bit at the bottom - i will have to fix that later..

 look at this mess - i don't know where to begin - this is the SE corner of the manor...

LOTS of spiders..

 a COMPLETE pos (piece of sh*t!)....

daddy longlegs...

this single post sits in the middle of the whole half of the manor - two railway ties (only 1/2 thick ties)  the roof and stove are pushing down...

here is the middle of the end - at LEAST this post is in concrete (sorta)

back to the post at hand - here is another view..

the floor joists underneath the kitchen have little pieces of wood stuffed as shims - they don't go all the way under so 1/2 of this joist that is supposed to be sitting on the tie is touching nothing... i had to shim the other side of all of them (forgot to take pics - it is only about 15-18" high here - hard to take good pics)

above the post is this mess....

at the end there seems to be more support

i decided to prepare all the footings at once ..

the wood was dry - see that log? that is tamarack or larch that i dried - it is rot resistant - i will use it for support  in this pic you see the cement that our friend w told me to use...

here is the pt lumber as it was drying..

after it dried - i applied the cement to each piece and glued them to the concrete - they will keep the wood off the concrete footings AND keep the concrete from cracking by distributing the force with a BIT of give.. ( i cracked one piece of concrete under a jack when making the mini-cold storage)

i clamped them together for a day..

 and de-barked the larch...

i used the husky carpenters axe as it has a more squared blade - no drawknife yet...

and that is part one i wanted you to get a feel of the crawlspace - there is something wrong with you if you don't want a shower now ;-)))))

here is a nice sunset....

cheers all!


  1. You're a brave man, jambaloney. Very, very brave...

    1. hey dani!

      well maybe brave - probably just stubborn and thick-headed!!


  2. Those pictures of your crawlspace remind me of those taken during a routine colonoscopy! Probably about as pleasant too.

    1. hey ed!

      probably not as bad - but how many repeats ;-)

      thanks for dropping by hope all is well!

  3. looks like a whole lot of not fun to me...

    1. about as fun as your winter - s*** happens!

      cheers bud!

  4. Jambaloney,

    I absolutely hate crawl spaces. There usually are spiders, sometimes snakes (not up there in the winter), maybe a mouse or two to keep warm and very little room to work. Your addressing the issues properly, and making your home safe. Doesn't this make you want to kick the previous owner??
    Be careful, can't wait for part 2.
    Sending love to you and Kymber

    1. hey sandy!
      yes - i want to boot the previous owner bigtime... LOTS of spiders, but no snakes - we have a few small species of snakes here and they say in the woods.

      i will be careful - hugs to you guys!

  5. With all the trouble you have with the structure, are you planning on building a new place?? I would be scared to even walk around for fear of falling through. (I'm at 136 kilograms) Thanks for sharing the photos and your hard work. I miss warm

    1. it has been though of rob, but in for a penny in for a pound, plus we have nowhere else to live - LOL!

      the upside is that we are 1 story - the joists are in good shape, just not enough points of contact for the whole thing!

      uh, not warm here yet, you must be talking about somewhere else ;-)

      hang tough, it won't be long before the blackfiles!!


  6. jam...that looks a total mess! I am glad you have the know how to get er done! Just think of the satisfaction you will have when you get it completed and know your house will stand taller and be safe for the both of you. Tell kymber to get busy and rustle you up a steak or two while you are repairing that mess!....hahahaha

    I hate crawl spaces although I have had to crawl under our house before. If I ever have to do it again I will wear my bee suit!

    1. mamma bear !

      yeah, crawl spaces do suck, but you do what you have to do what you gotta.... no bees here

      i don't know about taller but it will stop sagging and creaking!!!

      all my best!!!!

  7. Jam,

    You are a construction genius ! I am not a big fan of crawlspaces myself, even during the time of year that snakes are sleeping ! Your home is worth all that work because it is in one of the most beautiful settings on Earth !
    Love to you and Kymber,

    1. jane - you are too kind...

      i may look like one compared to what the prev owner did - i am really putting in a 20 year band-aid!

      no snake in our crawl space... just squirrels and bugs..

      yes it is TOTALLY worth it because of where we are - an easy reminder ;-))

      love back to you!!!

  8. Ugh! what a mess to have to clean up. I hope you're wearing a good mask down there. I hope your pressure treated treated lumber isn't the same crap we have down here in the U.S. My new deck is already showing signs of deterioration after only 18 months.

    1. i SHOULD wear a mask, but it keeps getting caught on things and goggles fog up in 1/2 second...

      out pt is much better than that our 3 year old deck sits on dirt and no signs of rot - a bit of warping here and there, but to be expected...

      cheers buddy!

  9. What a job. Are you sure...I'd think long and hard about clearing a space and build a newer and somewhat larger cabin. Either way, good luck my friend.

    1. hey stephen!

      i AM sure - i told k we will never give up on this place, just keep improving.. we aill be adding soon and that will be fun...

      of course if a trailer becomes available - i'll just glue it on ;-))

      cheers my friend - hope you are well!

  10. Wow! What a job you have in your lap! Luckily it sounds like you have a great plan in place. Be careful and I know you'll have it all fixed before you know it.

    1. thanks tana!

      it WILL get done and afterwards we can breathe a sigh of relief - then on to fun stuff!!!

      you take care!

  11. I replumbed the gas under my grandparents old home years ago. The space was so narrow that I had to dig shallow trenches in order to wiggle in and work. It was summer, during snake and spider season. I painted all the pipes with rust preventative paint so they'd last for years. My aunt tore the place down two years later. I didn't much care for the job, so I don't envy you! ;-)

    1. ah gorges!

      you never fail to make me think how lucky i am compared to what i might have to be doing!!!!

      and 2 years later it came down?? you poor bugger!!!

      still, it isn't a job to envy!

      take care my friend - hope you are well!

  12. Thankfully the space under the farmhouse is very easy to crawl around in. Doesn't make it more fun of course, but definitely easier, ha. You are doing a great job, keep it up. And be safe! (and warm!)

    1. 1st man - you lucky dog !!! '-)) thanks for the cheer-leading!

      i will be safe and warm - fondest wishes to the two of you!

  13. Did the cat kill the weasel or just run him off? I sure hope you are being careful working under there. It looks dangerous.

    1. hey harry - i will be totally careful - it isn't gonna collapse anytime soon - i MIGHT get stuck (just kidding)

      kymber and i were playing cards the other morning and mankly came in the cat door growling - poor weasel was dead in his jaws - he isn't fond of other mammals, but especially other predators.. we have stouts here too, teh big cat brought one home a couple of years back. mankly was all torn up one am and i think it was form attacking a stout (ermine)

      be good my friend!!

  14. Mate, better you than me!!! I'm 6'2" and do not fit into tight spaces at all well, I would need a rope tied to my feet so that when I got stuck someone could haul me back out. Hope it goes well for you. PS, "that's not a spider....this is a spider" (insert any Aussie spider!)

    1. sgt..

      i wouldn't make you go under in the first place - i am 5' 7'' and about the absolute limit for that place... i will be safe..

      ESPECIALLY because it isn't in australia - from what i have every 3rd species of spider there can either kill you or haul you off !!! we have NOTHING venomous and i like it that way!!!!!!

      cheers mate!

    2. Unfortunately that is pretty much correct! We have had several days of cool rainy weather here in Sydney and the downside of that it being summer here is that spiders come into the house to keep dry. In particular Huntsman spiders like to come inside and I hate them (the wife just about throws a fit). They are not that venomous but they are REALLY large!! (have a look on google) and I am the one that has to gst a stick and try and get them outside before they can run down the stick and up your arm.

    3. G'day you two. Been having terrible trouble with my yahoo e-mail account, let me know if you have finally received a reply from me.