The Maine Adventure

The Property
The Site...  Landscaping... Outside Design... The Natural Environment...
Gentle Demolition...  Moving the Barn...  Moving the Cape...  Reconnecting the Cape...  The Cape Renovation... Becoming a B&B...
The Farmhouse
Prepping for the Farmhouse...Modular Farmhouse & Stick-built Garage...Farmhouse Interior...
The Homer Jones Barn
The original Homer Jones Barn...The new HJ Barn...Homer Barn Interior...Owner's Quarters

The Heroes-My Working Partners...  The Gallery... The Retreats... The Destination Weddings


      Project 9: Preparing the Cape....  Project 10: Moving the Cape.... 
Project 11: Re-connecting the Cape in its New Site

Project 9: Preparing the Cape

Well, just as things began to settle down....and the barn reached its new 'home' in January, it became clear to me that the Cape was also going to have to move.  First of all, it was blocking the beautiful view of the river, so that only those inside the house could enjoy Mother Nature's exquisite handiwork. Second, it's a beautiful building, square and proud for all its age--and it deserves to remain an  historical entity. BUT its water pipes froze a half dozen times in the first two months of winter...when the northwest wind whistled off the river....even when the house temperature was 65. The walls weren't insulated, the stone foundation had shifted and was very gusty and the furnace seemed to burn oil continuously.

So, it needed to be snuggled into a more protected spot on the lot. And, since it was going to become part of an Inn in the near future, it needed to be somewhere on top of the ridge, near the road, so that it could be seen by potential guests.

Once the need became clear, it was a matter of timing.  In the Boothbay area, as the frost begins to thaw, usually mid-March, the roads 'heave' and large trucks (such as those which carried my concrete for the foundation) are not allowed to pass until the full thaw, sometimes 6 weeks later in early May.  So I had to make the decision quickly or wait....and wait.

 I did my research with Town Hall, the building movers, foundation raisers, electrician, plumber, septic designer, 'hardscaper', demolition men...and decided it was a 'go'. Then prepared the house for the move, which entailed moving everything off the furniture and walls, onto the floor, emptying the basement and scheduling the plumber to drain the house and dismantle the pipes. A call to the oil company arranged for the tanks to be drained. And my 'gentle demolition' guys arrived to take the second chimney down. The Town Hall permit to move the building was received  and the Planning Board gave me their 'blessing' to change the use of the house from residential to commercial, with concurrent use for an office and Retreats.  All was ready for a timely move.

As it turned out, the building movers were not efficient in their scheduling, we missed the solid road stage and were catapulted into the famous Maine 'mud season' which resulted in waiting....and waiting....and waiting.  But here's the whole story:

Taking Down One Chimney

The northerly chimney was taken down for three reasons: 1) the brick was very soft, and broke easily; 2) it made the house a lot easier and less expensive to move and 3) it allowed room for a closet upstairs and a doorway down. The furnace in the new site will be more efficiently vented out the side of the house.
Brothers Harold and Richard set up a creative scaffolding platform to catch the bricks and keep them from flying to the ground and breaking. Then Harold went up the ladder to pry them loose, while Richard retrieved and stacked them below.

Soon, the chimney was lost to view and Harold weatherproofed the hole it left behind.

A respectable pile of bricks remained at the end of the first day.

Meanwhile, the oil company came and drained the oil tanks and my plumber cut up the older tank and took it away.

And the basement needed to be emptied, as it would be left behind!  So all the rooms became full of 'stuff'. And the kitchen needed to be reinforced.

And the foundation work was begun.
First, the new foundation was laid out, dug out and the footings poured.

Above, the footings are wrapped for protection while they cure. Below, the mud seemed permanent...we thought it would stay forever...getting deeper and muckier as the men worked. I began to rue the day I decided to move these buildings and destroy the beautiful lawns!! But only for a short while, until the full dream reinstated itself.

The forms are placed to hold the concrete for the walls of the foundation.

The forms are complete. But  the guys missed the timing for pouring, so the forms would wait for another 5 weeks until the Town Engineer took the road 'postings' down.

Finally, the road postings came down and the concrete was poured (on my birthday!) and the forms removed. Voila! Below, a concrete foundation wall, at last! And, thanks to the slope of the land and ledge, this foundation will offer a real basement, with 6.5 foot walls and plenty of dry storage. The drawback, however, is that the Cape will sit very high in the air--and we'll have to backfill a great deal and build a retaining wall for dirt to reach the right level.

Meanwhile, the building movers could have begun jacking and moving the Cape, but instead, they decided to take a long Easter break. Patience, thy name is Maine construction!

Finally, spring arrived, there were no more possible reasons for delay, and the Cape was jacked up off the old foundation and began to make its way across the driveway to its new home. Pheww! Thought it might never happen.  But the old girl went up in the air.....


Press here to continue the Maine adventure---Moving the Cape