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All in all, I estimate that I moved about 140 (cubic) yards of soil out from underneath the house. This soil forms a new landscape feature at the side of the house, a path through the woods where there was only a slope before.

Was it worth it? I think so:

1. The termites are gone (with help from Pest Control). The damaged joists have been spliced over or replaced if they were beyond repair.

2. Leaking steam pipes have been replaced, which eliminates the banging and clanking that woke us up at night and generally results in a system running much more smoothly.

3. We could add a full bathroom on the second floor because we could run plumbing pipes underneath the first floor to reach a point from where they could conveniently rise to the desired point on the second floor.

4. Run-off water seeped in from the back of the house through the foundation wall sitting on the stone ledge, moistening the earth underneath the house. Condensation leaking out of the damaged pipes also contributed moisture in winter. The result was a persistent, moldy smell wafting through the first floor and up the stairs, which became especially strong after long periods of rain. That smell is gone since the wet earth is—almost—gone (I plan to water-proof the foundation walls from the outside next year, which would make the crawl space completely dry.)

5. The work kept me physically very fit.

Last change made to this page: December 27, 2019

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crawl space: moving earth