Thursday, November 01, 2012

"X" as in X-TRA work for Alphabe-Thursday

Yes, I know that's not how extra is spelled.  I'm just spelling it that way for Alphabe-Thursday and I already did X-RAY previously in another round.  So, today it's X-TRA as in lots of X-TRA work.

Even though I feel a little overwhelmed right now, my X-TRA work is nothing compared to what the people cleaning up after Sandy face.  I grew up in northern NJ and had lots of fun at the Jersey Shore.  It's heartbreaking to see what has happened to NJ and NY.  However, I remember Galveston after Hurricane Ike.  Our first ride down there after the storm convinced us that Galveston was finished.  However, we were very wrong and today you have to look for evidence of the storm.  I know Sandy was much more widespread, but I'm confident that NJ and NY will come back.

Now on to my X-TRA work.  In Texas most homes are built on concrete slabs.  Our soil is mostly clay which expands with moisture and contracts when dry.  This causes the house to kind of rise and fall.  Eventually the concrete slab cracks and the slab becomes very uneven.  I've heard them say that it usually takes 20 to 30 years for this to happen and large trees don't help the situation because they drink up so much of the moisture.  We keep soaker hoses around  the outside of the slab and water a lot during the summer, but sometimes that just isn't enough.

It was time for some more piers.  The piers go under the slab and help hold the house up.  They go deep into more stable soil and are adjustable.  We already have piers around the outside of the house and some inside, but this time we needed four more inside where the den and kitchen had fallen off.  What they do is come in and take up the carpet and use jack hammers to get through the concrete.  Then they take out lots of dirt and pour the concrete piers.  Right now the holes are covered with plywood while the concrete cures.  Then they'll come back in a couple of weeks and do all the jacking.  Afterwards, I'll have new floors put down.

I spent last weekend packing things up in the kitchen and den and moving them into the dining room.  I also covered a lot of things with plastic in hopes of cutting down on all the dust. You know how dust gets everywhere!  I especially didn't want to have to wash all the dishes and china in the dining room.

Here are some pictures of the dining room:

And I had to protect my dolls too...
Some stuff was piled in the entryway...
And I tried to protect all my cookbooks in the kitchen.  It would be a real drag to have to take them all down and dust.
After going through the concrete slab they brought out lots of dirt:
And then they started bringing the concrete inside:
Yes, right through the backdoor and into the den and kitchen:
Here's one of the holes in the den floor.  Most of the den furniture and carpet is under the plastic that you see to the left.  They added two piers in the den and two in the kitchen.
Then they put plywood on top of the holes and put the carpet back down.  We have two bumps now under the carpet in the den.  They placed plywood over the holes in the kitchen too.
I just have to remember to look where I'm walking for a while.  They'll be back in about two weeks to finish the job and I must remember not to break my neck in the meantime.

Then I'll have the same tile that I have in the dining room put down in the den, kitchen, utility room and hallway.  I really like the brick pavers I have in the kitchen, but I don't have enough extra this time to make repairs, so it will have to go.

I thought I'd try and be a lady of leisure the next two weeks.  No sense in cleaning or dusting until the job is done...right?

Please drop in on Ms. Jenny's blog for a list of other participants in this week's Alphabe-Thursday event.  Thanks!


  1. Oh my gosh, I think I said this before.....WHAT AN OVERWHELMING JOB!!!!!!!!

    it will be great when they're finished.....

    When I watch the news of all the devastation....I remember came back.

  2. Oh Betty! What a big job but after reading your expalnation I can see why it has to be done, and you are wise to keep up with repairs like this to keep your house value. I hope the plastic protects everything and you don't ahve to do a lot of cleaning afterwards. Make suure to rest and don't overdo it.

    Thanks so much for checking in on me -- we really were very fortunate to escape Hurricane Sandy with minimal damage!

  3. Well I have to tell you honestly - that would make me a nervous wreck - so I am proud of you. I think I would have to move out and not look. Well two weeks and it will be done. Then the new floors? Have you picked them out yet? Do homes in your area have basements ever? sandie

  4. Just don't trip over the plywood or misplaced stuff!

    Galveston HAS made an amazing recovery.

  5. Yes, thre images of the damage wreaked by Hurricane Sandy are heartbreaking. A lot of houses have basements here as the families live on the first floor because of the earthquake risk. They mostly use the basements for parties!

  6. On my dear Betty! That looks like a lot of work and I wouldn't want to have to do it! lol I just can't imagine. We are painting some of the downstairs right now because I had to go and say that the youth at church could come for a bonfire so my husband went wild and started painting the house! The house is tore upside down and I dread having to put it back together!

  7. What a lot of hard work! Hope all is going well for you - and the house - now!

    Thinking of you.

  8. Hang in there my friend. Soon things will be better than new. Love you.

  9. Hang in there my friend. Soon things will be better than new. Love you.

  10. Hang in there my friend. Soon things will be better than new. Love you.

  11. aack! holes, concrete, much work!! and the clean up. (nothing as extreme as the poor east coast, but still...)good luck getting yourself squared away (hope you have lots of help!)

  12. I'm Xhausted just reading this, sweet lady.

    I admire your organized and foresight, though.

    I hope it is done in a jiffy...and everything stays spick and span behind your wonderfully clever protections!

    I'm hoping for a dull month for you quite soon!

    Thank you for linking.



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