First Things First (Part 3): Creating a Firm Foundation

In Parts 1 and 2 of First Things First, you learned how I managed to get rid of the pests and overgrowth that threatened to take over my cottage.  Once those things were taken care of, it was time to move on to what would hold the house firmly in place…the foundation.

Honestly, I was a WEE bit worried about this.  Because the cottage is 90 years old, and a LOT of the exterior displayed rot, I was certain the foundation would also have serious issues.  When walking through the cottage you could feel the “ebbs and flows” from room to room.  It was especially evident near the center and back of the home.  The house rests on a series of piers and beams.  Worse case, they would ALL need to be replaced, and best case only a few would need to be shored up.

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Lucky for me, the resolution to firming up the foundation of the cottage fell right in the middle of each scenario.

I rebuilt my life by removing pests and tearing away the overgrowth. It was also essential my foundation be stabilized. I had gotten away from the truths that held heart, mind and spirit firmly in place.  While, yes, I remained a Christian and true to my faith, I had become lukewarm much like Laodicea. Deep down, I think I knew this was the case, but failed to admit it. Then when my world came unexpectedly crashing down, I was forced to make some life altering choices.  I could succumb to the hand of cards I had been dealt and wallow in my sorrows OR I could choose to show my cards, admit my life wasn’t storybook, and rebuild my foundation as a broken vessel.  Since 2009, I’ve spent more time in prayer and the Word than probably all the previous years combined.  It isn’t every day you get a chance to rebuild a new life, a NEW foundation, and I was determined to at least TRY to do it the right way the second time around. 

For whatever reason, foundation contractors are HARD to come by in north Louisiana. I had a hard time finding a contractor with reviews, references AND that worked on pier and beam homes.  After extensive research, I finally found three different companies to assess and bid the job.  Apparently, a LOT of houses have foundation issues in our area because two of the three companies were booked out anywhere from 1 to 3 months!  I wasn’t in a huge hurry, but I was definitely eager to begin my project and before I could even think about doing any other renovation work, the foundation had to be solid.

The third company came into the picture unexpectedly.  (Apparently word got out I was in need of foundation work, and Progressive Foundation Solutions out of Fort Worth actually called me…at like 10:00 am…. on a SUNDAY morning.  And I’m still not entirely sure how they got my number! That’s some serious sales recognizance!)

The gentlemen was very knowledgeable, and I was both intrigued and skeptical at the same time. He mentioned they were looking to expand their business in the northwest Louisiana area and would really love to bid on my job.

He suggested I check their reviews on both Home Advisor and Angie’s List. So of course I did and they were overwhelmingly positive!

After assessing the cottage it was determined the foundation was in ‘ok’ shape but did need some pretty significant shoring up; the main problem being the rotting and lack of support on the back of the cottage stretching about 120’.

To remedy this, Progressive suggested the following:

  1. Adding 120 LF seal beams to support and better distribute the weight
  2. Rip out and replace 20 floor joists
  3. Fix at least 20 piers (possibly more)
  4. Adjust the crawl space
  5. Install a vapor barrier to prevent wood rot

The best part of Progressive’s bid was they could get to my job within 2 weeks!

After weighing all factors (timeline, cost, reviews, etc.), I ultimately decided to partner with Progressive Foundation Solutions for my project.

Progressive got started almost immediately and within about 5 or 6 days, my cottage was sitting on a firm foundation!


New pier and beam

New pier and beam


Newly installed vapor barrier underneath the cottage

Newly installed vapor barrier underneath the cottage

img_9514 img_9508 img_9507NOW my little cottage is ready for the FUN work to begin.  She is sitting steady and firm and awaits her new cloak and accessories!

Each day is a process and I’m constantly ‘learning in the journey.’ My foundation is firmly built on Christ.  I fail miserably every day, but NOW I am grounded in a solid faith upheld by His divine will, grace and mercy.  He proves Himself o’r and o’r! On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand! 

This is my second go-round with foundation work as I had my house in Corpus Christi repaired and lifted about 4 years ago.  It seems like homeowners are instantly terrified with the words “foundation work.” But I’m here to tell you….IT’S NO BIG DEAL!  It sets the stage for safety and shelter and in the case of my little cottage, a glorious unfolding!

I’d love to hear YOUR foundation stories. Whether it’s actually the foundation work done on your home OR the foundation work done in your life!  Both are crucial!  The comments below are all yours! Share away! 


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  1. Nancy Dumas says:

    You are an amazing person. You take the time and listen to God before doing anything. It would do us all good to do the same thing. I really love your site and up-to-date items you are doing.

    Will always be your friend in Christ.
    Love you,

    • Simply Sara says:

      Oh THANK YOU Nancy!!! You know, I totally credit you for where I am today! You believed in me and poured into me! Love and miss you! <3

  2. Dolores Calhoun says:

    So enjoy following your McDonald Street cottage renovation, and appreciate even more your positive Christian attitude and encouragement to your readers. Hope we get to have a tour when all is completed!

    • Simply Sara says:

      Oh thank you SO much Dolores for YOUR encouragement!!!!! 🙂 You affirm the dreams the Lord laid on my heart. <3

  3. Kay Kelley says:

    I love reading this. I just moved back home to minden after 40 yrs in dallas. I was born and raised on tatum st. Now out on Woodhaven.

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