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Building basements and battling beavers and bugs

Spring has sprung in Springtown. Last weekend Daniel and I decided we would dig the probes under the walls to see how deep the foundations are. We need this for the drawings and rather than ask Ken and Henry (the builders of the story) to do it, we decided we could wield the spades ourselves.

We dug three exploratory probes at the base of the stone walls and each time we hit a small ledge of concrete. This concrete was very roughly poured and broke up easily. The base of the stone walls was about 6 inches below this concrete and not far below the level of the existing basement. The foundation stones at the base of the wall look like very big stones - must have taken quite an effort to get them all there.

To our horror, when we returned to these holes this weekend they had all filled up with water. Not from the basement but from the ground below. Spring seems to have bought springs with it that spring up everywhere (our basement included) - no wonder they called it Springtown. We hope this is because the ground is still frozen so the 'run off' from the melting snow is building up. If this is the case it should subside quickly. However, if this really is how close we are to the water table it could delay digging trenches and supports. (Drawings below by the excellent Chris Hoppe of Ross Dowland PE).

The other thing I learned today about Springtime in Springtown is that beavers emerge from the ice hungry as hell. Last week the willow leaning over the pond had two trunks, today just one and a half. The B*?!@$%S had eaten their way through the trunk just above the wire I carefully wrapped round the tree in the fall. Not only do we now have a dead tree but we have a huge detatched tree trunk now in the middle of our pond.

This means war (the battle of the beaver). I immediately called Fred Fleckinger our trusty pest man at Craig Thomas pest control. Next week we take on both the beavers and the bugs.


  1. I have complete faith in William and Daniel to win the Battle of the Beaver. :)

  2. French drains for a Huguenot home peut-ĂȘtre?

  3. Yes, we plan french drains in the basement (as referenced in the posting 'up and down')

    Seems highly appropriate n'est-ce pas


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