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
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
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
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:
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.
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.....