Monday, October 24, 2011

Of Plywood Forms, Knee Walls, and Three-Quarter Inch Blue Stone Gravel Basement Foundation Infastructure

 After Hurricane Irene, the foundation of the Jarvis House needed to be reinforced with a concrete Knee wall.
 Substantial plywood forms needed to be constructed on site.
The original foundation of the 1838 Jarvis House is built from rock and then hand made bricks.  Water coming into the basement has denigrated the foundation over time.  Fortunately a general contractor Robert Rexer of Huntington, knew what to do and who to entrust the job.
 Before the concrete forms were made the steam pipes had to be reoriented about twelve inches from the existing configuration, to accommodate the plywood forms.
 If you live in a house with three toilets, two showers, and four sinks you need a really good plumber,and my friend Jeff Kleverweiden came to the rescue.  Not only did he come on short notice to meet with the concrete foreman, Joseph Fiorella of JGF Concrete, but he re-configured the pipes a few days, shortly thereafter.  Everyone was impressed with his work.
 An original locust post was too close to a basement window and had to be moved out of the way of the knee wall forms.
 Old drainage pipes, no longer connected to anything were cut short.
 Large metal rods were pounded into the existing portion of another knee wall that had been built years before, to join the two sections.
 Extra reinforced forms went up.

 A cement truck makes its way backwards into the driveway.
 Plywood plates made a runway to the basement window, where Joe had made a flume, rather like a coal shoot for the wet cement.
 Out it comes into wheelbarrows.
 A finished portion of the wall behind the boiler.
 Joe guides the cement into the forms and distributes it evenly.
 The knee wall facing the front of the house. A perfect match!
 The knee walls will never keep out the water, but might slow it down a bit.  Joe advised me to pour three-quarter blue stone chunks on the floor to make it more level and easier to walk on.
 The sump pump is in the background.  Water is aimed at this well and will flow through the loose stones, that is if the electricity is flowing too.
 A really old cast iron radiator, left over from a past renovation was put up on blocks, just in case someone in the future needed it for another re-do.
 The North wall which was the most compromised from water.

 Now some women might get excited about jewelry or cars, but this old house owner is thrilled with the wonderful new knee wall!
 Posts supporting the staircase were reinforced.
 A job many will never see or appreciate, but one that will help the Jarvis House to live on for another two hundred years.


diane b said...

WOW!. That was a big job. But I bet you all feel a lot happier now. It must have been a worry when the hurricane dumped all that water on you.

Elizabeth said...

Sounds a very worthwhile thing to do!
Well done actually getting it organized.