Dave Duncan

"Eat Well, Stay Fit, Die Anyway"

The Floor You’ve Heard so Much About

So, as promised, here are photos of all our hard work. They’re really low resolution to make loading them in your browser earlier, so you might not get the full effect, but the full size ones will be up on Facebook shortly, or you can invite yourself up to the cottage to see it in person.

Here’s what it looked like before:

So saggy...

Notice how much lower the floor is on the right side of the window than on the left. If there wasn’t newspaper stuffed under the wall trim, you’d see daylight streaming through a large gap. The floor has been slowly pulling away from the wall since about 1950, so this isn’t a new development, but it’s gotten much worse lately. In the foreground, there’s a square cut out of the floor. That’s from a previous attempt at shoring it up.

So we pulled up the floorboards and saved them (because they’re old and look awesome) and pulled up the subfloor (which was just some newspaper and tarpaper over old barnboards) and Ash jumped in to take a look at the rocky, muddy swamp that is the ‘basement’.

The man in the floor

The two support beams in the foreground were so rotten, we basically just pulled them apart with our hands. On the right, there was nothing holding them up or into the foundation (which has long since collapsed), so we realized we had our work cut out for us.

What lies beneath

Here’s a peek under the floor. After decades of shoring up the foundation, the house will finally get the TLC it needs! In the centre, you’ll notice the cinder blocks holding up the beam we cut out. You may have to squint to notice that those blocks are sitting on another set of blocks that are mostly submerged in some icky mire. The water under the house was musty and grimy, but on a hot day, that’s what keeps the ground floor so cool.

Windows help keep bugs out

With the foundation still holding up the house at two corners, the wall is must be pretty solid not have cracked in half like an egg with this much pulled away from it. This was just such a weird scene for me that I took a bunch of photos. It’s the outside on the inside!

We put a board under the outside wall and shored it up with three concrete posts (of sorts) and then tied this frame into the existing unrotted beams, but rather than following the natural slope of the house (which is WAY off), we levelled it out a bit.

A message to the future

We left some messages to future generations of my family, and this is one of them. I’m pretty sure that no one will see this for a loooooooooooong time.


Once the frame was in, it was time for the subfloor. It may not look level but that’s because the far wall was painted with the trim on when the floor was already out of whack. If you eyeball the floor to the window, you’ll see that it’s pretty good.

The finished product

We hid most of the sketchy pieces of flooring under the stairs and matched the flooring as best we could. It’ll need some wood putty and a coat of paint, but it’s not going to fall down anytime soon. Note how the floor meets the trim under the window on the left and how it meets the base of the stairs under our feet. There’s no longer a trampoline at the bottom of the stairs (or on them) and everything is wicked solid. I really couldn’t be happier.

Thanks again to Rob (pictured left) and Ash (pictured top, giving the ‘thumbs up’) for working so hard for so little. You guys will always be welcome at the house, especially when it comes time to fix the foundation on the shed. To everyone else who conveniently had something on last weekend and couldn’t come help, I’m not bitter. You’re still welcome at the cottage… you just can’t walk on our fancy new floor.


3 Comments so far

  1. SSS July 22nd, 2008 10:09 am

    To be fair, I was not in the country. Otherwise I’d have been there for sure. It looks like you guys did a great job! And rumour has it that you didn’t even hurt yourself.

  2. felicity jane July 22nd, 2008 10:17 am

    I would have just been in the way. Girls don’t do tools. 😉

  3. Danielle July 22nd, 2008 5:43 pm

    It’s a miracle that they didn’t hurt themselves with a nail gun and all. Ash must have been a good foreman. While I can work tools, I preferred to let the boys get at it…and look at the great job done! Thanks guys!

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