The Mayhem of Construction – Part 1

The moment we, the Champagnes, moved into this house nearly two years ago, we knew that we wanted to do some renovations. It wasn’t exactly our first priority, but we intended to re-do our front steps, retaining wall to the garden, driveway, and turn our carport into a garage. It was a big job, and we expected to do the sections separately whenever we came up with the funds for each.

As with nearly all construction jobs, ours didn’t go quite as planned. During our initial quoting for the carport reno, we discovered that there was an issue with the corner edge of the over-hang that reaches out past the front steps. We knew this was a problem, but we were willing to live with the steps as-is if we could at least get a garage. According to the contractors giving us quotes, if we didn’t include the steps now, the inspector would fail the construction, and make them do the steps anyway. So, we went along with it, and switched all of our quotes to include the front steps.

Everything from there went wonderfully. We found a great contractor and are extremely happy with the progress made! We discovered, however, that because our driveway (all of the cement work on the exterior of our house, really) was built without the use of rebar, it very easily cracks. Needless to say, all of the large vehicles that have been going back and fourth over our driveway have caused a bit of a cave-in of cement. Because of this, we now have to add the cost of re-doing our driveway to our original quote; though gratefully, our contractor is giving us a screaming deal because he feels badly about the damage. We’re happy with it. We’d planned to redo all of the items, anyway, they just all happened sooner than expected.

These pictures are a few weeks old, now, but as we have so many, I’ll do another update post soon, so you can see the most recent pictures. Here’s a little peek at the progress:

These two pictures are the “before” pics:

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These are from during/after the first day of jackhammering:

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After the broken chunks of cement were taken away:

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The stairs being jackhammered, and the twins yelling at the workers out the window:

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The workers have to jump-start their machinery sometimes:

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Framing and backfill of the carport:

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More yelling at the workers. “Really big mess!”:

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It had been raining a lot, so everything was a bit flooded.

Before we began this project, several people warned me that it would be “loud” and “invasive”, etc. but honestly, I’ve been loving every minute of it! I’m so excited to have some work done on our house that I don’t see the mess at all. My twins nap through the beeping, banging, and clanging, so that is a non-issue.

When I look out my window or see my house from the sidewalk, I can imagine what it’ll look like when it’s all done. And it’s going to be beautiful!

These pictures are all a few weeks old, though. Now we have the carport cement and the front steps poured. I’ll post again soon with another update and more recent pictures.

Thank you all for reading and Happy Thursday!