"We must achieve the character and acquire the skills to live much poorer than we do. We must waste less. We must do more for ourselves and for each other. It is either that or continue merely to think and talk about changes that we are inviting catastrophe to make. The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependant on what is wrong. But that is the addict's excuse, and we know that it will not do."
—Wendell Berry

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

and todays big job is

House stumps.

Our greatest Nemesis, the previous owner who thought he was a "handyman", has caused us a lot of work (not to mention a LOT of money). It seems that the more we look, the more we find. Shoddy cement, dangerous electrics, clueless panelling, over enthusiastic floor sanding, some very inventive plumbing and now fake house stumps.
Today I was grubbing about under the house replacing house stumps that had been bodged up to look like the real thing. I examined a bit of wobbly floor a few months back and had cause to crawl under the house. What should have been a simple bit of maintenance quickly turned into a fairly major repair. In some cases I found the bricks had been stacked in place to look like a real stump until I actually touched them and realised they were not actually supporting the house at all. So, much bad language, pouring new bell plugs and then a few weeks later placing the new stumps in and filling them with concrete.

 A lot of work indeed but I know it is now solid for the rest of my life- the ones I have so far replaced anyway. There are a couple of the old wooden stumps I don't like the look of and will replace sometime in the future.


  1. Go for it Ulf. I know how hard it can be under there. One job I did involved putting stumps under the house. One half was on brick piers while the other half just had half Cyprus pine logs laying on the ground and the floor nailed to them. Some were a bit propped up otherwise just laying in the dirt. Over the years, probably 100 because the newspaper wallpaper we found in one section was dated 1891, had sunk and had to be built up. In hindsight I should have lifted floor boards but I dug my way in and moved buckets of soil on a trolley system out so someone was always nearby to empty the bucket. It took a year of weekends and holidays to get right through and site steel stumps in concrete after I jacked it up.
    After falling foul to Ross River and Glandular fever together we have since moved on to a lower maintenance newer home and set up a whole new garden.

  2. Ouch! That is certainly the hard way to do it Jim!
    I have heard of that old way of laying the floors in a house but I have not ever seen it. We too made a sled system to pull loads of cement in for the stumps. Very "great escape" type technology.
    I can certainly sympathise with the glandular and ross river fevers- been there too! The Ross river was the worst three years of my life!

  3. Hey, hope all is well :)