Now that we emptied a few rooms, it’s time to really start diggin’. Diggin’ deep that is. Let’s just dive in, shall we?

Depending on how serious your renovation is, at some point you’ll need new electrics and/or new plumbing of any kind. If you’re on the ground floor with no basement or cellar, you don’t have much options.

Electrics, you could run them on the wall and the ceiling (provided you’d want to install a new ceiling underneath your wiring).

Plumbing, not so much, but still somehow doable.

Drains, forget about it.

As usual we are in the category of people that need all of the above, if we want to install a new kitchen or a new toilet, or have the one in the side building connected to the sewer. So, we really needed to dig. Shit happens, they say.

First, before all of this, we set a deadline to have the kitchen, storage and entryway empty. Then we ordered a set of containers: one for all the tiles and concrete, and another one for the ground and dirt. After calling a few companies we got the best quote at Catte Containers, and so on Friday evening we got a delivery of two empty containers of 10 cubic meter, ours to fill.

Containers ready

By then the rooms were empty already:

Empty storage

Empty entryway

Early in the morning we went at the tiles to start with. Wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow was filled, and before you could say “goodbye and don’t come back, tiles” the container started filling up nicely.

Container filling tiles

Ofcourse there were some oddities: underneath the kitchen tiles a concrete slab had been poured, around 5 cm thick. Big problem! There was no room enough yet to provide for the wires, drains and plumbing necessary for our new kitchen. I already saw the dream of our whole new kitchen crumble to the ground.

Luckily we had some heavy equipment at hand, because that slab needed to go as well. Then we got another break, as the concrete wasn’t reinforced, so all in all it did go out quite easily. End result: a lowered kitchen floor, albeit in dirt and not in tiles…

Kitchen without floor

The other two rooms weren’t equipped with a concrete slab, joy! However, in the storage there were loads of brick and tile debris in the ground, making it a tough job getting your shovel in the ground. A little persistence goes a long way though, and so before we knew it the only room left to tackle was the entryway.

Storage without floor

This room was by far the easiest one to tackle. With the two rows of tiles already gone in the middle one could quite easily pry out the others. Also the ground wasn’t filled with all kinds of debris here, so you could just shovel away. And shovel away we did!

Entryway without floor

By the end of the weekend both containers were full to the brim (yes, that’s 20 cubic meter gone). We dug out somewhere around 50 to 55 square meter, lowering it 30 to 35 cm. Some of you might wonder how I got to that number (no I didn’t just dig until the containers were full), but it’s actually quite simple. If you plan to go the route of getting your floor out, you might as well do it right the first time. That means, you have to dig deep enough to provide for a concrete slab for stability (10 to 15 cm thick is recommended), your new plumbing and electrical wiring, insulation (5 to 10 cm recommended, the more the better) and then the tiling with all its necessities (again some 10 cm to take into account). Add it all up and you’ll need that 30 to 35 cm at least.

Now that I think of it, it was probably closer to 35 to 40 cm gone.

Anyway, a lot of ground was gone. Monday morning I called the container company and by Tuesday evening the containers were picked up, and we could use our driveway again.

Container pickup

Obviously I didn’t do this all alone, so once more thanks to all those that were here that day, it wouldn’t have gone so smooth without you! You rock! We had now entered the era of the dirt, ready to start working on… What do you think should be next? What would you take on now? First one to guess it right (before I unveil it ofcourse) gets an honorable mention. Fire away!