Monthly Archives: June 2017

312 N Lord Street – Footer


Last year we bought an old house…a turd…and had it demolished. It is in an area of Southport NC the locals call “Old Town”, and is on one of the first 100 lots in Southport. We were lucky to get it as they are in very high demand. I’ll attempt to document the construction process in a series of dedicated posts.

Background: When we left Ohio on our boat, one of the goals of our adventures was to evaluate places along the east coast to settle back down after our cruising was done. We wanted the following: Walk or short drive to the beach, walking distance to our boat slip, not too cold in the winter, walking distance to shops/bars/restaurants, not a big city but close to big town amenities. Southport was in the sweet spot. We also wanted a house with very little yard, small square footage, but big enough to entertain and to accommodate visitors. The preference was a new build versus existing house. Having scored a prime spot in historic Southport, we are building a house that will have the same architecture as the homes that were built here 100 years ago. We are fortunate to have two of our closest friends building for us, MW Custom Homes. Matt and Shirley have their own construction business and are a great team. Matt has built hundreds of homes over the years and done many restoration projects. Over the last three years, I have watched him, and occasionally helped him, build three homes in Southport, and let me tell you…these guys are GOOD! If you need a house built in this area, you need to talk to them.

Here is a sketch of what we are building:
IMG_1948 cmp
Front porches are a big thing in Old Town, and we really wanted a second story porch in addition to the first story one, but the second story floor plan would be compromised, so we opted for a first story porch only. A couple of days ago, Tricia, Matt and I cleaned up the lot. We cut the grass, pulled weeds, cut down vines and saplings along the fence line, and raked the debris into yard bags. It has been YEARS since Tricia and I have done that kind of work (no yard work living on a boat…lol), and we were worn out! Then we helped Matt lay out the house in preparation for the footer. I have never done this before, and found it fascinating. Measuring from the lot line pins, we used re-bar stakes and string to lay out the outline of the footer, and then painted orange lines on the ground. When finished it looked like this:
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Then the next day they dug the footer trenches:
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The next day they tamped the trenches down and then poured the footer the following day:
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Next week they will lay the foundation.

Settled back in Southport

Southport NC
Posted by Bill

It has been nice not having to drive the boat almost every day! We got settled back in to our summer home on D Dock at Southport Marina. The boat got a good washing for the first time in months, we have been working on deep cleaning both the inside and outside. The stainless steel on the outside was looking particularly bad, and I have been working on it a little each day. The first week back we also had to make several decisions about the house we are building…roof pitch, finalizing floor plans, exterior colors, exterior doors and windows, width of the porch, second story porch or not, brick column bases for the porch…and we spent lots of time walking around town looking at what looks good in the historic area of Southport and in the building materials stores. It has been wonderful having Matt and Shirley building for us. They are so good at what they do, have good taste, and an eye for what looks good as well as what saves cost when building. They have been a tremendous help as we struggled with all of the options we had to consider so far. I am going to make separate posts for the house construction project as most readers may not be interested in that.

It has also been awesome reconnecting with our friends in Southport. We had the usual dock parties over the holiday weekend, which are a blast:
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We have also had a visit from a resident alligator:
Needless to say, we are going to give him a wide berth! It has been nice having a car again, and we made our first run to Myrtle Beach yesterday to Costco and Sams club for general provisions and liquor. It is only about an hour away, and the liquor prices are 35% less than here. We are looking forward to visitors from Ohio in the next few weeks. Jim and Laura, good friends from Columbus are going to stop by for a couple of days on their way home from vacation, and our youngest daughter Jessica, her husband Eric, and 4 of our grandchildren are coming for a week at the beach after that! We are excited to see them all! Then we are planning a trip to Ohio to see family and friends and put our Lake Erie house on the market. We sold our house in Powell (Columbus) before we left on the boat, but kept the lake house thinking the family would use it, but everyone is too busy to enjoy it. We are tired of dealing with it, so we are going to sell. If anyone is looking for a great summer house, let us know!