Monday, January 24, 2011

Standing on a Rock

With five generations of furniture out of the house there have been a ‘few’ unexpected discoveries. The most obvious was the bounce in the floor of the den. There was fear that if Tom jumped one more time it would simply give in under him and he’d land in some deep pit.

The fact of the matter was that the floor was so rotten that you could cut out the boards with a No. 2 pencil. And one would never fall to China because the floor rested directly on the rock outcropping that the house is built on. 161 years of sitting on a damp outcropping. Hmmm, wonder what that does to wood?

Tom decided that a concrete floor would be just the thing to prevent further problems. He enlisted a friend to help and they spent the morning pouring a new floor. In their pursuit of the perfect batch of cement, they were quite pleased with themselves as they constantly changed the proportions of sand, cement, and water. Tom came home glowing at a job well done.

The next day I made it a point to admire the new floor. Hmmm, it seemed pretty obvious that there was something amiss in this concrete slab. Dropping a bag of marbles into this room would cause a melee of motion.  There were enough hills and valleys to keep the marbles careening around for hours.

And what about that great big swale in the center? Yes, Tom said the floor did seem to have changed. Mysteriously, it was not the perfect level and flat floor he left yesterday.

That very afternoon I happened to be at a birthday party and mentioned the wavy floor to my host, who is a stonemason.

So here’s what I found out that Tom should have found out before he found himself floundering on his concrete floor:  if each batch of concrete doesn’t have the exact same proportions of ingredients, what you end up with is a roller coaster of a floor.

Nothing that ten bags of floor leveler won’t fix.  


Mary Jo said...

Methinks that this is Chapter 1 of the "Standing on a Rock" story. Do keep us posted. Life is never dull with you two, is it?

susan vieth said...

I'm longing for dull! What happened to the days of croissants and bonbons on the patio?

Steve Mease said...

Straight, level floor - what is that? Our house has never had one and at this rate, it never will.
Always enjoy these little excursions to France. Beauty of a day today - you would be out skiing.

Lawrence said...

Haha. I recognise that 'friend enlisted to help'! Wish I could come and help you with it. How is the house coming along? Looks great inside from the pictures. And how is Bourdeilles in the winter?