DIY Wednesday, Our Home Renovation

Home Renovation Update #5 – The Foundation

This week’s home renovation update is the foundation on the home.

Home Renovation Update

If you missed the rest of the updates, click here.

We are moving right along with the home renovation process. The main focus right now is on the foundation and trying our best to fix the cracks. Hopefully this will solve the basement leaks problem. If not, then I have no idea what else to do.

A few weeks ago we had a guy come and dig out a trench in front of our house so we could get to the foundation and fix everything. Not only are we repairing the foundation cracks, we are also putting in a drain along the front of the house that will wrap around the side to hopefully carry away any water.

As you can see we live pretty close to the road and the front yard is not very big. And right now it’s covered in dirt so I have no front yard at all!

The trench is dug

My side yard is gone as well, completely covered in dirt. On the plus side there’s less grass to mow.

Trench beside the house

The foundation has to be cleaned off and all the paint that we put on recently had to be removed as well. The pipe going from our house to the ground connects us to the town’s water system.

Trench in front of the house
Cleaning the foundation
Working on the foundation at night

After the foundation was cleaned off (which took a few days because it was a really tough job to get everything off), my husband started adding foam to the cracks.

The foam is basically to make the foundation wall level all the way across before adding the rubber coating. After the foam dries fully, it will have to be trimmed flush with the wall, then a layer of geotextile fabric will go over it, then another layer of rubber coating.

It’s a whole crazy long process before we can start putting in the pipe for the drain and filling the whole back in.

Adding the foam to fill in the cracks

Sewer Update

I have great news ya’ll! After almost 5 months we are finally getting hooked up to the town’s sewer system! The lawyers of the business behind us never got back in touch with the town after several tries, so they had to figure out a different way to go. Instead of going up the side of the land of the business behind us as planned, they decided to go up through out backyard. This saves us money, too since they are going almost halfway up. We only have to pay our guy to dig the rest of the way to the house.

Digging to lay the pipes
Pipes laid for sewer hookup

We also discovered that there’s an underground spring running through our backyard. It has always been interesting to me how cold that water actually is, even on the hottest of days. And even though it’s running through dirt, it comes out so clear.

A little fact about pure, cold mountain spring water here in Virginia: it was a requirement for the best moonshine back in the days of illegal moonshine making!

I have to say that I’ve never been so excited about a sewer system before! I’m so tired of holes all over my yard and so much dirt and mud everywhere. Luckily we haven’t had a lot of pouring rain lately, so the dirt is staying in its place and not washing away.

This renovation process has been somewhat stressful, but at least it’s moving along and hasn’t come to a stop yet. I pray that doesn’t happen and that we can keep going as smoothly as possible.


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64 thoughts on “Home Renovation Update #5 – The Foundation”

  1. Wow, that’s a big job! I pray the Lord blesses all the work that needs to be done! My parents live in a house in Illinois that was built in the 1800s shortly after the Civil War. They have had to do quite a few things with the house too. πŸ™‚ God bless you all!

  2. After all the hours of work and the beautiful home you are creating selling it would be impossible for me.The finding of the spring is a blessing. This world needs many, many more people of your integrity, strength and faith. May God bless and keep you always

    1. I keep thinking that when we get done I’m not going to want to sell. If there weren’t so many other reasons, such as the neighbors and being in town, then I’d stay.
      Thank you so much for your kind words. Have a very blessed weekend!

  3. Michelle – you are a real trooper! So glad you’re getting hooked up to a sewage line (what a huge relief after all these months, & for less distance than expected – woot woot!) Blessings as you continue- (& watch out for that VA moonshine, potent stuff!!!) Cheers! πŸ€£πŸΈπŸ€—πŸΈ

    1. I never thought I would be so excited for a sewer line! 🀣 I’m so glad that they finally got it, though. It’s almost made me forget about those few months. I’ll be sure to watch out for that moonshine. Kinda hard with a distillery right up the road. πŸ˜€

    1. Thank you! It’s been quite stressful and just a little too hot! πŸ˜€ I’ll be so glad when it’s over. I’d much rather be doing the redecorating and cleaning. πŸ™‚

  4. Yay for the renovation heroes! #preservation (and, maybe, your lawn destruction can be positive, like you said–finding a replacement for turf that doesn’t have to mean mowing… πŸ™‚ )

  5. The angle of the photo of the dirt out the front made me chuckle – house across the street looks like it’s tipping backwards! An interesting factoid about the spring water for illegal moonshine! Is it still made..? Maybe that’s a silly question! Fingers crossed the rain stays away & I hope things go smoothly, it’s definitely moving along!
    Caz xx

    1. I didn’t notice that about the house, but now I see it! πŸ˜€ Illegal moonshine is still being made, but now there are a few distilleries nearby making it legally. πŸ™‚ I hope the rain stays away, too. So far so good. Thank you!!

  6. You guys have been busy. That is really cool that you have a spring on your property. Our well water up north is so cold when it comes out, so much different then here in the city. Every time we turn on the water here in the city it comes out super hot. Our pipes run through our attic so they bake all day. It is like boiled water. We have to let it run for awhile before we can use it. We don’t even have our water heater on to heat up water here in the city during the summer months because it is so hot here in Phoenix we don’t need gas on . Love Spring water, so refreshing.

    1. Wow! That is crazy that the water is that hot. Since we have town water ours can be pretty warm some days, but in the winter it stays cold. At least you’re saving energy by not running the water heater. πŸ˜€ I love Spring water, too. It’s so amazing how cold and clear it is when it’s under the ground. πŸ˜€

  7. Oh sis, seeing this, I feel your pain!! Bless your heart. It can feel really overwhelming to see everything torn up and constantly have to work around it. But it does help to remember that old adage, this too shall pass! Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but before you know it, the drain lines will be covered and the foundation will be fully complete. You will look around and forget just how messy it was. Guess it’s like birthing a child, haha. πŸ˜€ Hmm!

    I am so sorry you’ve had to go through all of this with the foundation though. From my days in Real Estate – one of the things we were always taught – two biggies you don’t want to have to deal with – foundations and roofs. Both of those are major repairs when there is a problem. I’m praying by now that the stress is subsiding a bit and that Holy Spirit is sending extra ministering angels to you to bring an extra dose of peace πŸ€—

    You are doing such an amazing job on this home, though. What an accomplishment. You are going to be so happy when you see more and more progress. As you look ahead and see that the work ahead of you is less than the work behind you – what an awesome feeling! Take some time to just sit back and admire what you’ve already achieved. I’m proud of you just seeing it through the computer. Job well done! You should sit back with a great book and your favorite beverage and luxuriate for a bit. β™₯

    1. Thank you for the inspirational message! I love that saying and I definitely need to keep it mind the whole time we’re working. It’s good to know that the 2 major things we have done so far will really pay off when we sell the house. While we are looking at other houses the main things I’m looking for now is when the roof was done and how the foundation is. This renovation is teaching me all about what to look for when house shopping. πŸ˜€

      Thank you!! I’m looking forward to the finish line. It cannot come soon enough. πŸ™‚ I think I’ll go grab that book and sit outside under the shade tree for a while!

      1. Most definitely – when you do list your home – noting that the foundation and roof have recently undergone total renovation – that should help your sale value tremendously. Sadly, a lot of buyers look for purely cosmetic upgrades. But those who really know what to look for, will look at the big money pit parts of the home first. You are smart to keep in mind all that you’ve learned from updating your current home into the new home search. I like the way you think πŸ˜€

        If you find a home that you are absolutely in love with but there are some major repairs needing to be done – if the seller is motivated – you can ask that these repairs done before the purchase is complete. Or you can use that as a major negotiating point for a lower price and find your own contractors. I believe that y’all will find the perfect home, straight from the dreams in your heart because God knows exactly what you love!

        Hope you enjoyed the book and the shade tree πŸ˜‰ Lots of love to you my friend!

  8. Whoa that’s a deep hole! I love the look of where you live. I think it would suit me πŸ™‚ It is exciting and stressful renovating a house (been there, done that), but such a sense of achievement when you have finished.

    1. It really is a deep hole! I’ll be glad to have it filled back in. πŸ™‚ I am really looking forward to having this all finished. Some days it seems like it’s taking forever! πŸ˜€

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