Excavation, Day 1 & 2

So how cool is this? Nation capital’s own ginger ale. Just one of many, many, really many bottles we discovered digging out our basement/crawl space below the kitchen.

Although a lot of the bottles were kind of cool looking, I must say the sheer quantity that turned up are quite astounding. Here are some shots, and these don’t account for all of the broken glass and some of the newer ones that we recycled.

Aside from bottles there were much trash, random bits of rusted iron work, and even a stray door.

Now, the actual excavation is hard manual labor. We hired three helpers a) because we needed to get as much done before construction started on Monday and b) because there is just no way that Sergey and I could have done it by ourselves. $530 was well worth it. I should also say a big thank you to my friend Kirill who stopped by to help out on Day 2.

The idea behind the excavation was to take out as much as possible from the basement (we are planning to one day make the basement a habitable space, so every bit helps), level whatever is left in order to prevent moisture and increase energy efficiency.

I never took a picture of the crawl space before, probably because I avoided looking down there and just did not want to know what was down there. But here’s a pic from the end of day 1:

And here’s the end of day 2, nice and level! You can see how much the soil level decreased in the crawl space with a clear line on the wall.

This is also an excellent way to fill up our yard which is lower than either of our neighbors’ — which leads to standing water and mosquitoes every time there is hard rain.  On day 1 we raised up the majority of the space about 8-10 inches.

And on Day 2 we probably added another 4 inches or so:

And! our deck is gone!! Well, not entirely. It has just migrated to our neighbor’s yard – who is awesome by the way for letting us do this (I mean seriously, I would have been like, no way man).

Here’s how it went down – Pat, Pete, Paul and Mat – our neighbors/friends – stopped by to lend a hand, and in about 3 minutes we were all set. And by the way, no the deck was not secured to anything – just sittin’ there on cinder blocks. awesome.

Here are some parting shots – old school glass bottles of clorox and pesticide: