January 16, 2007
A pier-and-beam house in this part of Austin is a living being. It breathes (the windows weren't exactly winterproof), it groans (in a few spots where the boards were creaky) and yes, it moves. Not a lot mind you, but the house can shift a bit if a long spell of dry weather is followed by more than average rainfall. When this occurs and the drainage isn't good the earth contracts, pushing up the piers and the parts of the house rise in response.
When we started the project, Bill tells me, the front door was a full 4 inches higher than the back door. I didn't really notice because of the substantial distance between the two doors, but suffice to say I couldn't have held a marble tournament in the living room with certainty. We did have several cracks in the Sheetrock because of movement, but I had begun to look at them as features rather than flaws.
Fast forward to the remodel. Several weeks spent adding new piers, leveling out the old, rehanging Sheetrock and redoing the mantle over the fireplace because it had been done after the house had already begun to settle and was 5/8" out of plane. And then, the big rain. And no gutters in place. And some water didn't cooperate. And the house moved. The fireplace rose up in protest and it'll slowly go back down over the course of the next year.
To protect against any more rain before gutters are installed, the crew has created a lean-to structure over the front porch. The gutters go in soon and we'll be installing a French drain to move water away from the house to avoid this problem in the future. But I had thought we'd be all squared out from day one, and the fact of the matter is that the houses in this part of Austin have a life of their own.
(5) CommentsComment on this Blog
Hello. This project is so exciting. I am very interested in the green route that you are taking. I was wondering when this re-model was going to air on television. i can't wait to see the final project! Keep up the great work!
The Austin episodes officially begin airing February 8. That's the premiere for WGBH, the Boston station. Check the listings for your local PBS station on that date or after to see when they will show it.
Did you install a sewer liner at one of the homes on "This old House". We remember seeing it being installed to help solve a problem with tree roots. We are thinking of having this installed but would like some feedback on how good it is. Any response would be helpful.
I see that the Oldhousemyhouse website gives really useful information. We have created a public interest website at www.saferhouses.co.uk focused on keeping safe in and around your home, which I thought may be of interest to your visitors.
We don't make any profit from the site but we'd like to spread the word and get the information out to as many people as possible. Links from sites like oldhousemyhouse.thisoldhouse.com/2007/01/moving_house.html are really valuable to us and I was wondering if you could place a link to SaferHouses?
Please let me know if you'd like any more information about our site, or if there is someone else I need to speak to about this.
Thanks in advance
I Moved my house . The building was of 1946 construction and remains 55’ long by 34’ wide. The structure weighed some 225 tons (450,000#), roughly half a million pounds, the two story, brick veneer structure had to be moved some 165’ from its original lot to another contiguous property and raised some 20’ higher than it had been. It was under the supervision of Wolfe. They made my moving experience a memorable experience.
here is the picture of this move.You can see the picture of that move here http://wolfehousebuildingmovers.com/index.html