We’ve been clinging to the hopes that we’ll be able to rebuild a new house on the old foundation, but yesterday got a healthy dose of reality. We met with a structural engineer who gave us the low down on the foundation.
Even though it wasn’t significantly damaged from the fire, and is fundamentally possible to put the same house back on it, we’re not convinced it’s the smart thing to do. It’s not up to current building codes, so we’d have to do a lot of fancy footwork to get it approved. We’d also have to do some patching, thickening, and re-pouring in places to make it plumb and sound enough for the new house. But more than the physical stuff, what swayed me in the end is the fact that it may cost us even more in the long term if we keep it.
We imagined having a nice new house, on a 60 year old foundation. We imagined what that would do to the resale value, house upkeep, and the overall nightmare that would come in 10 years if we had to jack up our new house to fix the old foundation.
So, where does that leave us?
Well, since our budget previously was pretty much impossible, this just makes it a bit more impossible. So really not much has changed. It does, though change our tack as far as the type of house we can build, the usable footprint, and the building codes that apply to us.