Fixing The Foundation of My House

I recently had the foundation on my home repaired, and while I’m glad I don’t (or I hope!) I don’t have to go through it ever again I will say that it wasn’t quite as awful of an experience as I thought it might be. I was most upset because I had some really great landscaping right next to the exterior walls of my home and a lot of it was torn up. The contractor did a great job of putting things back in place as best they could, but when you are as fanatical about your yard as I am…well lets just say I had fun re-doing things!

So what exactly do I mean by home foundation repair? How did I know I needed it? And what were the results? Let’s take a look!

What do I mean by fixing my foundation? Your home’s foundation is essentially the platform on which your home is built. Most folks have a concrete foundation which is poured over a mix of sand and rocks. It is designed to make a smooth and sturdy platform for your home. That is the type of foundation in my home, you could also have a pier and beam foundation which you can read more about here.

I first realized I might have foundational damage when I noticed a few doors that all faced the same hallway were starting to jam and not close properly. Then I started to see signs of cracking along my exposed foundation and quite a bit in my driveway. I put off doing anything about it for a while, then after a wicked storm I got some water damage seeping into my floors. At that point I was just really worried about the cost, so I got in touch with the folks at Nationwide Foundation Repair and they provided me with a full free consultation and really eased a lot of my fears.

It really is very similar to the way you jack up a car. The repair team came in and dug holes next to the house (thus the damage to the garden) and started digging holes directly beneath the foundation of the house and kept digging until they hit solid earth (imagine an oil well). Then the essentially used the security of that solid earth and a massive jack and reinforced the foundation of the house. This video shows it better than I can explain it:

All in all it was a rather easy process, and while it certainly wasn’t cheap, it wasn’t near as expensive as I hoped it would be either. If you run into these problems with your home.

The Father of Modern Landscape Design

For my first post on the new blog I wanted to pay tribute to the history of the landscape architecture and honor a man I’ve studied and respect. You’ve likely seen his amazing work countless times and depending on where you live you may even drive by or wall through his landscapes every single day! He is a true pioneer of landscape design and great American!

The man I’m speaking of is Fredrick Law Olmsted and he is considered by many to be the father of landscape architecture. He created the master plan for everything from Central Park in New York to the Vanderbilt House in Asheville NC. He is also responsible for the layout of college campuses like Stanford University and Cal-Berkeley. Learn more about him here.

I’ve visited all of those places (with the exception of the Cal campus) and his work is truly astounding. All of his landscapes are meticulous yet flowing and natural. He combines natural flora and fauna in a way that perfectly compliments the natural features mother nature provided him with.

Check out this video that is an introduction to a well made PBS documentary that I enjoyed:

So next you are in an park or garden take a few moments to look around and try and appreciate all the hard work that was put into it. In the meantime, I encourage you to try and channel your inner Olmsted and incorporate some of his ideas into your next project!