Reno Diaries: our neighbours have their driveway back – for now.

….and we have a walk out basement. For now. Basically, nothing is exactly permanent at the moment.

It was wonderful to arrive home from work earlier this week and see that our project is really under way! And by underway I mean we gave our neighbours their driveway back (it’s actually new and improved) AND there’s a big hole in our backyard! Woohoo!!

The Driveway

Before the main reno project started we needed to fix our foundation on the side of our house that is shared with our neighbours driveway. In fact, part of their driveway is actually on our property. Things were dug up really quickly, and all the masonry work done, and then…..nothing. It was a big pile of dirt and a partially filled trench for  two weeks more than would have been ideal. AKA – a whole entire month!

Turns out there was a miscommunication with our excavation folks and they assumed we would want the driveway finished only once they came to dig our foundation hole. Which makes sense and would have saved us some money. But really only made sense if they were going to get going ASAP because we didn’t want our neighbours put out for very long given that this is the start of a lengthy project and we’ll need a lot more of their goodwill this year. So, yeah, they had no driveway for the past month until this Monday when they got a new driveway! It’s solid, level, and capped off with 8″ of screened limestone gravel – the good stuff. And we gave them beer and pots for all their plantings. So I think we’re good! We’ll need to use the driveway again for scaffolding…I see more beer buying in my future.

The Walk Out Basement

The hole for the foundation was quickly dug and now when you go out our basement door it’s ground level. Well, it’s in a big hole but that’s still the ground.

The amount of light in our basement from that doorway is amazing.

Previously, the door opened up to steps leading into the backyard with a big door covering the steps. Adam called it the Dorothy Door because it was like the cellar door in The Wizard of Oz. With that gone, and the walk out access, it’s really incredible…but not enough to make me rethink the whole design plan. After the foundation is in and building starts, the basement door will open to steps leading up and into our mudroom. I’m curious about how much light that will bring to our little work space down in the rubble that is our basement.

Footings get poured next week:) Fingers crossed we have wonderful weather!

And yes, in case you haven’t noticed, we have A LOT of rocks in our soil. Made for a fun visit with geologist friend who kept picking up rocks and identifying them for us!


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