The foundation was going to need some work. We knew that. When we talked to the contractor, we had discussed replacing the rotting posts and fixing the wall if necessary. That was it. Well, that was all I was aware of. But we'll get back to that.
Inside the house, it was pretty livable. Granted, the house sloped off to one side. If you dropped a ball anywhere in the first floor, it would try to find its way to one corner of the kitchen. I liked to think of it as a charming quirk of the house instead of a sign of a serious structural problem. I'm naive like that. Once we got on with ignoring that, we had planned to rejoin the two units, then build a wall in the upstairs unit that would make a hallway right off the stairs. This would make one large bedroom out of the current living room, and allow access to the other bedrooms. The upstairs kitchen would be converted into a second bedroom, leaving us with three good sized bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. We talked a little bit about reconfiguring the bathroom so the largest, sunniest room, the one with the door out to the second story porch would become the master bedroom. Other than that and an eventual kitchen remodel we didn't plan to do much to the house. At first.
So how, you may ask, do you come to have an 8 foot deep trench that encircles your house and an entire new foundation wall being poured? Well, let's revisit our little chat with the contractor. After I left, Curtis (the contractor) and Mr. Dog continued to chat. So while he said the basic fixing of the rotting posts would be easy enough to do, I didn't stick around to hear his recommendation.
"What I would do," he continued after the 5 year younger and much saner pre-home ownership version of myself left. "I'd dig this out and make some storage and a workshop."
And this got Mr. Dog thinking. While Curtis was envisioning a new concrete foundation wall, Mr. Dog was thinking of a 6' ceiling height storage area. Mr. Dog had bigger dreams. With his gears turning, and the property officially ours (well, technically the bank's, but you know what I mean) Mr. Dog spring his idea on me.
"Why don't we dig this out. We can put in a full basement. I can put in a workshop and we can have more living space. We can dig down and put in full height ceilings, it'll be great" And I went for it, because that is the kind of sucker I am.
From there, the process, planning and work, lots and lots of work really got rolling.