It’s been just over 6 weeks since work commenced on my house, it’s been off the ground for almost four weeks so I thought I’d continue to report on the progress and learnings. First job after lifting the house was to remove the old ring foundation and clear the way for the new foundation. I opted for the speed block ring foundation as it’s stronger and once it’s plastered will look original and in keeping with the age of the house.
On Monday the 13th of June, Christchurch experienced two more large earthquakes which again devastated the eastern suburbs of Christchurch. It took me 1.5 hours to drive the normal 10 minute journey to go and check on the house. As you can see the house/ground clearly moved, the supports were now looking suspect (to my untrained eyes), so I called the construction company who quickly had this addressed. I’m not sure how much confidence it gave me seeing how it was braced, but with the subsequent aftershocks the house continued to stay up
Whilst the house was up on blocks, there was no better time to address under floor insulation (previously there was foil there) and sort out my CAT6/Satellite/UHF and speaker cabling for the surround sound in the lounge and for the front and rear decks. Falcon Construction installed 50mm polystyrene blocks under the floor.
The speed block ring foundation was completed and concrete poured – The first thing you worry about is whether they put the thing in exactly in the right spot, and wonder if its moved much during the subsequent aftershocks. I was talking to the foundation guys and they said “if the house has moved, we put the house on rollers and move it, it’s a pain, but we’ve done it before, just takes time.”
Murray and I spent a few days pulling cables under the floor, in the ceiling and mounting flush boxes around the house. It seemed like the time to do it while it was off the ground, however spending hours under the house was a little un-nerving at times.
Below – This is the patch panel where all Cat6/Satellite/UHF/DSL/Phone cabling will be terminated and the lounge where the TV and appliances will go.
Below – Cabling into the lounge as well as the tidy cabling under the house.
With the ring foundation finished, the next phase was to re-install the jacks in order to lower the house - this is done by hydraulic jacks as per below.
Below – Termination of the hydraulic cabling to the jacks and laser levelling/checking the height of the piles. Most of the concrete piles have been subsequently removed and replaced with large wooden ones.
Below – Concrete piles removed and replaced with wooden.
The house was slowly lowered today onto the new ring foundation and piles, there were many creaks and groans as it lowered but we got there safely. So now the inside work begins - It seems surreal and now exciting to have the house back on the ground. I’m sure like many in Christchurch who are going through this, or will, it’s a great opportunity to replace a lot of things internally/externally and update parts of the house that need work – I have a whole list, (and if you’re like to donate a bunch of cash, happy to accept your donations) so game on!
House is now level.. look at that
More photos available here.