We love old buildings. We especially love to bring tired, old buildings back to life to become better-than-ever.
The architecture, materials and soul of an old building cannot be beat. But other aspects leave a lot to be desired. Windows that leak, walls with no insulation and floors that slope are not among the fine points of an older home.
The expression that “They don’t build ‘em like they used to” is very a propos. We do not, and should not, build that way anymore. The style of a building can be forever, but at one point the realities of today’s lifestyle dictate that an overhaul is needed. And, we have to take better care of our planet as well, so heating the outdoors through porous windows and walls does not cut it anymore.
This week on Charon, the structure is being totally re-built. Bigger, stronger and a whole lot straighter.
The slope on the floors was largely caused by the settling of the main beam in the basement. The floors around the edges, supported by the foundation, were remarkably level. But the original beam, an actual tree, was not well-supported in the centre, as a post was pushed into the ground by its weight. So we start by pouring a new footing of cement to support a new post – a strong foundation makes for a strong structure.
The new structure then takes shape. The main beam for each floor is supported by posts on each end and in the middle. Ready to support all the years that lay ahead.
The following picture shows a new beam in place, level with the highest points of the floor – on the right side, the floor joists have been jacked up to be level – the joists on the left side are still in their original position – and the level shows space for a 2×4 to make up most of the difference. What a difference 4″ can make !