Fun Down Under (the house)


I know I’ve been writing about the house a lot lately, but it is all consuming right now. It was a recent decision to keep it, after years of trying to buy another one and unload this one on some poor dumb sucker. The main reason we wanted to unload it were the countless problems it has and continues to get.

The major problem that the house has is there was a small earthquake a while back and it undermined some load-bearing supporting walls under the house. Walking across the kitchen is a little scary sometimes, with all of the creaks and groans the house makes. Unfortunately, the earthquake happened right smack dab in the middle of remodeling the kitchen.

We had all of the upper cabinets installed, and the sink cabinets and countertops installed and tiled. The rest of the kitchen lower cabinets were mostly installed, and we were about a week away from finishing those and tiling the countertop when the earthquake happened and suddenly nothing was level. We are talking everything was off by almost an inch. Crap.

The walls under the house would have been fixed by now, but when my husband and a friend went under the house to try to jack it up and level it, my husband found a copperhead skin. He showed it to our friend just as our friend held up a handful of baby copperhead skins. Yay! Poisonous Venomous snakes! They also found huge mounds of dirt moved by the woodchuck that has lived under the house for years.

We just gave up when we found the shed snakeskins. I made do the best I could with what I had, and it was fine. I just placed some plywood across the cabinets as a makeshift countertop, and that was it: ugly but workable. The floor of the kitchen was also ugly but workable. We have had the hardwoods sitting there ready to install since just before the earthquake.

Now that we are staying, the foundation has to be repaired. My husband finally girded his loins and went under this past weekend. If you’ve ever been under a house in a crawlspace, you know how nasty the dirt is under there. Luckily, where he is working is pretty deep, it is more of a stoop-space. Still, not pleasant.

I stayed nearby when he went under, in case he needed anything, and immediately after he went under, he yelled, “SNAKE!” Holy crap! Then he laughed and said it was the cutest baby King Snake; King Snakes eat copperheads, and where there’s a baby, there’s a momma. We are betting the momma took care of the copperheads and maybe even the woodchuck, since there were no new signs of digging.

So, things are progressing at a steady rate, and while husband works under the house, I am working nearby within hearing range so I can run go fetch stuff for him. I’m going through all of the kitchen cabinets and getting rid of anything I don’t use. Most of the stuff goes to Goodwill and some stuff, like some old Pyrex, will eventually go on Etsy. That sounds like a good winter project!


4 thoughts on “Fun Down Under (the house)

  1. Maeve

    You know, if I knew that there were snakes under the house, I think I’d stroke out! So is your kitchen functional? How long have you been at your project?

  2. TempestTcup Post author

    Yes, my kitchen is functional, but I haven’t been able to install the big countertop across from the sink. It was Spring last year that the snakes were found, so it has been an ongoing problem.

    Our first solution was to find another house to move to and sell this one as is, but that didn’t work out. Now the solution is to fix this one, but the process is horrible. Under the house is a terrible place to be. The dirt is different because it has sifted through the wood floors (and carpet for a while) for almost 100 years. So gross.

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