A Historic Home Addition Starts on Bully Strong Foundation

Regarding architecture, the Tillotson family's saying is "Don't build it for looks, build it bully for stout." This comes from T.L. Tillotson, my wife's grandfather. Even though I never met him, I have a great deal of respect for him. 

The Mesta Park historic renovation is moving ahead. Rain caused some delays, but the foundation was finally poured. Over the last few weeks, I have gathered some photos on-site, and I wanted to share an update before the work progressed too far.

Here are a couple images taken from the project CAD files. The first image image is the design of the main floor plan and lower level of the addition. The area highlighted in gray is the outline of the new foundation's footprint. 

Main Level Floor Plan & Lower Level (addition in gray)

In architectural drawings, the Foundation Plan locates where the stem-walls, spread footings, and concrete control joints are to be installed. In total there were (2) 24x36" sheets of foundation plans and details for this project.

I like to show the Floor Plan superimposed on top of the Foundation Plan for clarity. The image below shows our plan. I removed the dimensions and notations for clarity.

A plan drawing is a slice cut along a horizontal plane. The dashed lines represent things that are not cut, but should be referenced. The outer short dashed line represents the roof overhang above. The long double-dashed lines are the boundaries of the concrete footings below ground level. 

Does this drawing make sense without notes? Any questions come to mind?

Foundation Plan (sans dimensions/notations)

We were fortunate to work with Kevin Bahner at Wallace Engineering on this project. I imagine that this the kind of project keeps an engineer's brain nimble. Marrying a historic battered-brick foundation with a new reinforced concrete foundation might have the tendency to make one think. The conversation with Kevin was simple. We need a "bomb-proof" foundation for the addition. Something that could anchor the new addition and historic home in unity to the site. 

Not only did Wallace Engineering deliver, Kevin conducted a couple site visits to fine tune the design with the Contractor. In the end the Owner and I were satisfied that the foundation was designed to be built "bully for stout". You could simply see the strength and redundancy in the rebar pattern.

Structural Engineer and Contractor discussing reinforcing during a rain delay.

Photo: Red Door Investments. New slab poured

Photo: Red Door Investments. New foundation followed existing load-bearing walls. The historic brick foundation is visible at the bottom of the image.

Suddenly rough framing began taking shape

View from carriage house stairs

View from carriage house stairs

It seemed like I was only absent from the site for a week or so. When I dropped by the rough framing was well underway. The exterior was 75% enclosed and the split level flooring was set in place.

Looking north from kitchen/living through future hallway. Upper level flooring of split level addition is visible beyond.

Looking to the north from NE Bedroom on main level. 

Thank you for watching this addition take shape with us. It will be great to see this job's exterior sealed to the elements.

Are there any images we missed? Let me know what parts of this job you would like more information. 

Thank you for reading. Please share with a friend!