WARNING: This Is A Darn Long Post – Proceed At Your Own Risk!!
So, things have definitely been jumbled up with the cabin plans. We weren't even able to drive to the cabin (without fighting the weather and road conditions) until the first part of June. At that time, Bruce was finally able to start tearing the very decrepit decks off to assess the extent of structural damage we would be dealing with. It wasn't good, to say the least.
In the photos below, you can plainly see what bad shape the block foundation is in, and that the bottom log is deteriorating from water damage.
The plan that Bruce came up with entails pouring new cement pillar/pier supports to the left of where the cabin presently sits. The cabin has to be jacked up off the existing foundation (by professional house movers), and the rotting base logs have to then be replaced on all 4 sides of the structure. Then the movers will transfer the cabin over approximately 25 feet to sit it on the new cement pillar supports.
We were at an immediate disadvantage because by the time all of the problems were uncovered and realized, we were well into June. Anyone who has dealt with construction, and it seems that particularly in Montana, if you are lucky enough to find a reliable company to get done what you need, you had better get on their books very early in the season because their schedules tend to fill up very quickly. We were able to find only 3 companies in the whole state of Montana that move buildings. Add to that a variety of other complications because you are high in the mountains;
-Very wet, boggy ground in Spring/early Summer because of the massive amounts of snow that have just melted off, which in turn raises the water table of the many underground springs up there.
–Just the distance a company has to travel to get to what will be the job site. And if lucky,
-Maybe 12 weeks of good working conditions if everything has dried out well, and it doesn't decide to snow before October.
Twelve weeks might sound like plenty of time, but the lion's share of planning, arranging, calling, and much of the pure physical labor to frame out and pour the piers has to be done by poor Mr. Bruce. In the last month he has been racing toward a deadline at his “day job”, and has been putting in about 12 to 14 hours a day Monday thru Friday, and also working every weekend for that month. Consequently, spare time has been pretty darn scarce. Needless to say, he is a tad thrashed at this point in time.
He was going to try and at least get the piers poured and the cabin moved onto them in late fall (risky time frame due to the high chance of snow), then do the rest of it next summer. Well, the problem with that plan is that in preparation for moving the cabin, the interior tile floor has to be torn out, and that means that out with the floor also comes the whole kitchen, and whole bathroom, also the wood stove. So, even if by some miracle we could get the 2 different companies lined out for this summer/fall (one to drill for the pier foundation, one to lift and move the cabin, with time in between to pour the piers plus the 3 week cure time required for the cement before it can accept the weight of a building) the cabin would literally be rendered useless, sitting like a shell on the new foundation for the remainder of fall, and all winter, until we can get in next summer to put in new floors, new kitchen, new bathroom, new septic system and plumbing, new electrical, and all new windows. I told Bruce we would be better off to try and get the foundation lined out and poured late this summer if at all possible with the company's schedule being what it is, then let it sit and cure until next summer. We'd make it a priority by February-ish to get on the moving company's schedule for early summer. By skipping the moving part until next summer, at least the cabin is useable right now. We can enjoy it this fall, and be able to snow machine in this winter because we'll still have floors, cupboards, appliances, electricity and the wood stove.
GAD ZOOKS…..I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.
I wish I had an iron clad constitution for all this risky business stuff, but I'm a good old fashioned, security driven, worrying sort of Irish lass, and me thinks we may well have bitten off a much larger and tougher chunk than we bargained for – I guess all in good time, if the Good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise 🙂
I hadn't dragged but the bare minimum up there because I knew we'd just have to haul it all out again as soon as we started ripping the floors out. All the good bargain stuff I had been finding had been tubbed up and was sitting off to the side in my dining room at home, along with the great big light fixtures from Craig's list. I decided if we have to wait a full year plus to start the decorating process at the cabin, I wasn't going to fall over all this crap in my house for a year. So this last weekend we packed the trucks and hauled a glob of it up the mountain. I spent a fun day Sunday hanging pictures, unpacking dishes, and making beds with fresh new bedding. We cut down a skinny little quaking aspen and I made curtain rods out of it. I hung my cute rummage sale find plaid curtains that turned out to be about a foot too long, so next weekend I will bring up a sewing kit and hem them. My camera battery went dead so this was the only photo I was able to get. It looked so cozy and homey when I got finished. I know I'll be cussing myself when I have to pack it all up and find somewhere to go with it next summer, but c'est la vie.