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Building Blog

updated as often as I will have time for


They just paved the driveway. It wa done acording to my plan with the exception of my plan showing a dcline once it had passed the doorway. the result is that it looks unique but it has ends on the left side in a sharp clif to make room for the large window to the basement. This is both an eyesore and a safety hazard. A few of our choices are to put an area well around the window with a cover. making it usable as an egress but making it useles for loading and unloading large items.


We have just started the instalation of sheet rock. should be up and in place by friday and the taping and spackling should all happen next week. At that point the building will be fireproof.

New Pictures

Sorry it's been so long since the last update.

Today we started framing! Check out the new pictures at the end of the Photo Gallery.

Yup that means that we have complete permits! We have permission to complete the new Chabad House.

The foundation took a little longer than expected because of problems with the existing foundation, weather issues, etc. but the next few steps will be the biggest visual change, and we are still hoping to have it ready by the time the students get back here.

New Pictures

Sorry it's been so long since the last update.

I added some more recent pictures to the Photo Gallery, they span a few wor days.

You’ve been served!

And the saga continues …

Well first for the good news. Today we framed out the footings. That means that we laid out the wooden frames which will hold the concrete for the foundation of the foundation. We also spent a while pumping out ground water and demucking the area. But most of the day was devoted to designing a solution for the “dry stack” foundation of the existing house. i.e. while excavating we realized that the existing foundation is just a pile of loose rocks that without the support of the ground around it are just going to crumble and fall out. This is our first unforeseen expense adding $3,200+ to the project for the solution which we settled on which is to create a cinderblock step formation to cover the dirt and stones of the old foundation and then pour concrete to hold everything in place.

Now for the ridiculous part. My neighbor served me with legal proceedings from the Supreme Court of New York. She had a survey done of her property which places the line somewhere between where she claims it belongs and where my survey claims it belongs. In other words she is contesting 1.5 feet of land between our properties. Her lawyer filed a petition to issue me a “show of cause” and a restraining order halting my work until I can prove that I am not building on her land.

Of course this is totally frivolous and outrageous because even according to her survey my construction is still many feet away from her property and even my old fence is 2.7 feet into my property. But they insist. I am grateful to the judge who struck the “stay” order to halt the work from the proceeding and issued only a show for cause. Which means we can continue on schedule but at sometime before June 28th I will need to respond to her claims.

Well tomorrow if the building inspector likes our frames we will have the cement truck here and fill those wooden structures with concrete laying the foundations for greater expression of Judaism in New Paltz.

May this be the final step in the foundation of the Holy Temple allowing the rest to descend from heaven with the coming of Moshiach Now!

Sorry it's been such a long time since the last post.

Thursday they tookdown the back wall of the dinning room and thursday they started digging. Boy is that a big machine! The steam shovel is about the size of my garage.
The first thing they did was destroy the driveway and salvage our wodden fence - Thank you guys. Then they took apart the foundation of the enclave and the back porch. Bobby had expertly propped up the roof on top of the porch. And even though he wasn't sure himself whether it wa going to hold up, its as sturdy as a ... well I dont know, but it's still up there, and thats good.
Then came the actual hole. About ten feet deep, it's massive. If you would walk out our back door in the kitchen, youd have a 13 foot direct drop.
Like all construction jobs there are things you can not foresee and there are some obstacles that we've predicted that still need remedying.
Well fist off it seems that the existing foundation is not quite as secure as we thought it was. It's more like a pile of loose small rocks. if the excavators get too close they just all start coming out. not the end of the world but still something that will need to be dealt with. It'll make connecting the two basements much harder.
Next up, the Thumb on the Steam Shovel gave out. Seems like it was just wear and tear, but that stopped the digging short. They'll start up again today.
Last and probably least the expected groundwater is rising at a steady pace. There's about one foot of water in there now. Looks like we have a swimming pool in our back yard.

Well things are still moving at a good pace and we are excited that the work is really happening. Check out our latest video on youtube and check back for more updates hopefully later today

Demolition Video

Wow its Happening fast

The back wall is gone!
these guys work like lightening. we now need to move the oil tank, and make room for the dumster.

Video of the kids starting demo.

May kids are realy getting at it.

It worked out! Demolition Tomorrow!

Everyone is invited to help.

We have a great professional group doing the work so chances to help with building are going to be few and far between, most of us would get in the way more than we would help. But tomorrow mainly for fun, and so everyone can have a hand in this great mitzvah everyone is invited. 9am-12pm

Then Friday Mike with Valley Contracting will start the excavation. With tears we will say goodbye to the cherry-blossom tree. But with tears of joy we will see the beginning of a new chapter for Judaism in New Paltz!

Starting - Slowly


Mike the excavator is busy on another job. So it may take up to a week until he starts digging. BUT in the mean time, I've started some demolishion my self.

A few sections of the "White Picket Fence" is down. and the widow shades and Aron Kodesh are being moved.

It is very exciting but the truth is settling in. these things take time and people cant revolve around us.


Today we got our foundation permits. That means that we have permission to build the foundation of the building. Before we start framing we will need more permits.

Our contractor Tom Hazard is a wonderful guy and a pleasure to work with. He will start site prep and demolition as soon as we get the go ahead from the excavation crew. Keep posted for mote updates.


Looking for older posts? See the sidebar for the Archive.