Friday, January 15, 2010


I'm pleased to announce that I've already made significant progress on one of my goals.

Here's my studio space on Tuesday morning.

Studio before 1

Here's my studio space on Wednesday afternoon.

Studio midway 1

And here's my studio space on Thursday afternoon. I still have a LOT to do, but at least I can see the floor now and I have a much better chance of finding what I'm looking for!

Studio midway 2

Studio midway 3

So what's the reason for jumping straight to goal 5? Well, for one, my head was about to explode because of all the clutter. But the main reason was that I had an appointment yesterday morning with Ted, the foundation repair expert, and I didn't want to be totally embarrassed.

Wait, what? A foundation repair expert?!

Fortunately, he had moderately good news. Or bad news, depending on how you look at it.

If you'll recall, we haven't been able to finish the tile floor in the living room and kitchen because of a problem with the sealer on the last pallet of tiles. I am still waiting to hear back from DalTile about how to fix the problem...

But the delay has been a huge blessing in disguise, because over the fall and winter, our house started moving.

I first noticed some hairline cracks in five of the tiles that straddle the line between a section of new concrete that we poured and the original slab of the house. They have slowly grown wider. Although a huge bummer, this wasn't totally unexpected.

Tile cracks 2

But then I noticed a crack in the wall where it meets the ceiling in the back part of the living room. The crack has slowly spread and widened. And the alarm bells really went off when I noticed right before Christmas that a section of the concrete from one of the older sections of the house was starting to sink!

floor crack 1

Thank goodness this section wasn't already tiled or I'd have a colossal mess on my hands.

The good news from Ted is that he doesn't see any particular cause of the problem. I had worried that the huge globe willow tree was causing problems. When the people before us put on the last addition, they built to within a few inches of the tree! I had resigned myself to the fact that the tree would have to be cut down and I'd lose the great shade it provides in the summer. But Ted doesn't think the tree will cause significant problems over the next 10 years, but if we cut the tree down, in 10-15 years the roots will rot and disappear, leaving a giant sinkhole under the house! No thanks. The tree lives!

Willow tree

The bad news from Ted is that he doesn't see any particular cause of the problem! He said the house is moving because houses move, and the movement has probably been exacerbated recently by the extreme cold this year (coldest winter in 40 years) and the fact that the house has so many different concrete slabs that may not have been tied together when they were poured. This means that there is very little that we can do to control the cracking.

What we will do is install some slab piers along the crack where the slab is sinking. This should bring the two pieces back to level and prevent them from sinking again, but he said the slab will continue to move and crack all around it, though hopefully without sinking again. It will be 4-6 weeks before they have room in their schedule to install the piers, so I guess Dal Tile gets a few more weeks to get me some new tile!


  1. Yikes about your house! Hope it is all fixed soon.

    You did an awesome job on your room! Looks great!

  2. Oh no about the house! It sounds like you have a plan going forward though.

    But the studio looks great! Congrats on getting that accomplished so quick!


  3. geez!

    i saw that first photo of the crack in that amazing tile and my stomach sank!

    but the studio which i almost forgot about about after seeing the photos and hoping the tree doesn't get the AX LOOKS GREAT!!! now ya wanna come do my studio???..... hint hint nudge nudge....

  4. Dayum. I guess houses get achey and need to move too. Glad you get to keep your tree.

    Kudos on your tidy and organized studio...that feels good, eh?

  5. Congrats on the clean up. Looks fabulous!

    I'm so sorry about the sinking and cracking...just like our house!


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