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Who knows what retirement brings . . .

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After two years of discussions with my neighbours and contractor buddy, fights with city hall over permissions/easements, going back to the drawing board to start from scratch, (reluctantly) increasing my budget dramatically and crossing my fingers - the retirement construction project has begun.  We live in a smallish bungalow on a nice middle class street in the older section of town.  We have a freestanding garage that is approx. 75 years old and is just about ready to self destruct (collapse).  A lot of the wood is now pulpy, has field mice, chipmunks and moles that have nested there at different times and the concrete floor is fractured from the frost.


Our plans include a total demo of the garage and removal of the foundation. We will move the new garage further up the hill into the backyard, with a new poured foundation and about 50% more floorspace to better fit my boat, toys and a small workspace for me.  We will be moving a retaining wall back about 12 feet into the hill,  creating some landscape effects, adding drainage to prevent water issues and rebuilding the pavestone driveway, extending it by almost 40 feet.  this should allow me to also add a smaller BBQ/Smoker shelter later.


Work began on Thursday with the garage demo. WOW!  Two guys dropped that sucker in about two hours.  They cut the roof and walls into about six foot squares, dropped them into the bin and hauled it all away. Yesterday they took down the old wall, fencing and clothes lines.  Monday the big digger comes to cut the hill back and create the hole for the foundation.  Houston, we have a worksite!  

This project is scheduled for 12 weeks and is getting more exciting by the day.  Progression photos will be posted for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy the ride, we are!



7:45 arrival!


Halfway dropped.  Garage in a box?




The original construction was made from packing crates with the owners name and address stencilled on.  We cut a panel out of the wall to install as a memento in the new garage wall.  You can see the hole in the sidewall.


Garage is gone!  The new one will go up in the yard new where the digger is sitting, with privacy fencing, a new retainer and other stonework.


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May 15.  As we round the bend into the final straight, we have a few issues.  Windows and garage door have been delayed by Covid closures.  Fingers crossed for only two more weeks wait as we’ve been p

Friday May 22.  The contractor basically wrapped up as far as they could go today.  Waiting for a sub to finish the soffit, fascia and downspouts, the electrician to do his part and the windows and do

May 3.  After a long week of what seemed to be slow progress and the contractors taking time off to assist a dying family member, I am happy to report that we are managing to get some of the armour st

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Day three or four.  There's a big hole in my yard and it’s going to get bigger tomorrow unless the snow that just started keeps coming down...




Foundation will go in towards the left, with lots of drainage and a new retaining wall made of armor stone off to the right parallel to the patio.



They took 90 tonnes out today, with another 30-50 planned for tomorrow.  They good news is that under the clay they hit gravel meaning that we should be able to dramatically improve our drainage issues.


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March 23.  After removing the top soil, digging into the hill and removing the necessary volumes of clay and gravel, the footing cribs were just installed.  They will be inspected and the first concrete poured tomorrow with foundation cribbing going in next and the foundation poured onThursday... IF this Covid-19 emergency declared by both the province and the federales doesn't shut our contractor down (like it sounds like it will).


Here is where we stand currently.  The rear foundation wall will be approx. 9 feet tall and the front about 4 feet to get below the frost line.  Speaking of which - it snowed overnight! 


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March 25.  Footing poured and set.  Today the foundation wall forms are going up!  Covid-19 be damned! LOL. Man added for scale.  I was surprised at the size of this hole. Could probably add a basement and not tell my wife. Give me somewhere to hide out from her!




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March 26.  Foundation has been poured!  Two truckloads of the wet stuff delivered. Almost 15 cu metres of concrete.  We even got our lucky loonie set underneath where the sill plate will go.  This should help my fishing every time the boat leaves the garage!


And BTW, there is a 40” LED Smart screen in my basement awaiting it's mounting place on the wall over the boat along with an Apple TV.  Maybe with luck she won't know where I have disappeared to!  The wine rack will stay in the cellar, but I did notice my daughter's bar fridge from university.  It may hold some cans for me. 





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9 hours ago, daninpd said:

That is looking massively and majorly awesome.  Good work!

i think the best thing is that my contractor got me his first time slot of the season so that we should be done early enough to be able to enjoy the space and the newly landscaped yard for most of the summer.  The gardens may take until next year, but hey - thats her problem.

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