Two steps back?

Work had been progressing at a good pace.

The street, driveway, and yard were patched and repaired after the water service was upgraded.

Electrical work continued. (In our area, electrical code requires conduit, and bending and installing all of that is a lot of work.)

Plumbing supply lines started to go in, and a second hot water heater was installed.

The new one is hidden behind the old one, between the dual fireplaces. They had to remove the old one to install it.

Things seemed to be moving forward very well…

But then, a storm hit. The addition flooded with over 1′ of water overnight.

There is nothing quite like the feeling of waking up to discover that the project you have poured your heart, soul, and wallet into has been submerged.

One step forward, two steps back?

We removed the water with some spare sump pumps and the help of our very responsive contractor, and you can see the aftermath in the photos below. The water line on the wall shows how high the water reached.

I think I’ve sorted out the causes of the flooding.

Our new sump pump was installed to discharge water into our backyard. Since our yard is already low, and a small lake forms back there when it rains, this means the water was stuck in a never-ending cycle. This was made worse by the lack of proper yard grading, which meant that the basement escape window has now become the lowest point in our yard, creating a waterfall from the “lake” into the window well. The window well has a drain that drains to our sump pump. Ultimately, with all the construction debris flooding into the drain tile from the open window well drain, the sump pump clogged and gave up, hence the flood.

The contractor replaced the sump pump immediately with a more powerful one, and re-routed it to the front yard, tapping into our existing discharge pipe that runs under our main floor and pushes the water out into the front yard.

Meanwhile, I’ve contacted the civil engineering firm that did the drainage plan for our yard, the village to get their opinion (and permission to tap into the storm sewer), and several drainage contractors to see if they can come up with any solutions.

It seems clear that grading the yard and installing some kind of yard drain or yard sump pump will be necessary to get the water out during torrential rain storms, and a backup pump would also be a wise investment. (We already have a battery backup system for the sump pump, and installed new batteries in it this week.)

Fortunately it doesn’t look like anything was damaged, and the water was all pumped out very quickly. After our contractor brought in fans and an industrial-size dehumidifier, work began again.

Our concrete contractor has fixed the mismeasured basement egress window.

Holes drilled for rebar
Concrete poured for the new 8″ section of the window. Note the washcloth protecting the window drain from construction debris and mud!

The forms for the final underpinning section have finally been removed.

The laundry opening has been re-framed for our barn door.

The stairs have been installed, so I no longer need to crawl in to the basement through the window.

That ledge to the left of the stairs sure looks like fun for small children. We might need to change that…
See the dehumidifier on the left?

Our neighbor removed the 100+ year-old oak tree between our two properties (and overgrown bushes), which has led to a great new view of our twin houses.

The tree is on their property, the arborvitae mostly on ours.

Our roofer delivered the shingles today, with the addition roofing set to begin next week.

I hope this was the color we wanted!

And, electrical work continues!

In summary, the past couple of weeks have been very challenging. It’s clear that we need to permanently address the yard drainage situation to protect the addition before drywall and finishes are installed.

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