Episode 2: The Green-Grossfield Project – Broken Basement

We bought this house for the lot.  It sits across the street from Cedar Lake, eight minutes from downtown and next to a city lot that is undeveloped.  There are mature trees, it’s close to our synagogues, and many of our friends live in the neighborhood.  The house was a disaster but all we were keeping was the foundation. Then we found out the foundation was a disaster, too.

Construction team at Green-Grossfield project

We thought we did all the right things: got the inspection, had a builder walk through, and checked the disclosures on the purchase agreement. Then Jim, our builder, realized during demo that our house was 3 inches lower on one side. The foundation had sunk over the last 70 years, and we were screwed. We then learned that inspection is only worth what you paid for it, so even if you sue the inspector for not finding a problem you can only recover the $300 for his service… ugh.  There goes the contingency budget. But this was non-negotiable; it had to be fixed. Ten-thousand dollars later, it was. We finally had the blank canvas we needed.

Foundation and structure of Green-Grossfield project

Because we had an existing footprint we couldn’t get too creative with the shape of the home. Jim guided us through options for room placement.  Billy, Kyle and Marc finalized the flow and I wanted everything bigger. We did end up cantilevering my son’s room over the part of the backyard which created a covered deck. Nice! The plan was in place and Jim promised that when he was done framing he wouldn’t put up any walls until we approved their placement. I loved that we were able to move things even at the last minute.  The plan looked so different on paper than it did in real life so being able to make changes was a comfort.

Interior and Roof of green-grossfield project

Demo was underway, framing going up and the roof coming down.  #progress Coming up next week: design. Finally, the fun stuff!

By Jordana Green


Personal Designer

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