Damn! I could kick myself. I forgot to take "before" pictures of the basement/garage area of our Laguna Beach cottage before the demolition started.
What you see here is what used to be the garage--too narrow, by far, for any contemporary vehicle. The total garage area reached from the window across to just to the right of where the water heater still stands.
The heater will be moved, probably next week, while we are away. To the right of that, there was a big concrete step-up, about a foot and a half, to a storage area; then a wall to a dirt area beyond, where the furnace stood. The brick wall is the foundation of the fireplace in the living room, directly above.
You can see here where they have excavated a good deal of dirt, in order to widen the total square footage of the basement for considerably more under-the-house storage than we currently have.
We are very fortunate with our contractor and the people who work with him. We had been nervous about the inconvenience to our neighbors, before the work started on this very narrow street, but we have heard nothing but compliments about how (relatively) quiet and how (extremely) courteous everyone has been, so we are pleased on that score. Larry, our contractor, seems to have the knack of employing people who are not only well qualified and industrious, but also cheerful and polite. So far, so good!
I did manage to get "before" pictures of other areas of the cottage that are a part of the remodel, and will post them here as and when the work gets started. Along with the "after" pictures that will be available, we hope, by November of this year. In the meantime, I plan to continue with these progress reports--as memory aids for Ellie and myself, and for anyone else who might care to follow the events with interest.
A footnote: yesterday, the 4th, we went down to the beach in the early morning with George the dog--he's not allowed after 8PM for the duration of the summer--and enjoyed the freshness of a lovely early morning mist at an unusually low tide. At one very special moment, I was surprised to see an egret fly toward us, low along the coastline, something I can't remember having seen before. I associate egrets with marshy lake and river-beds more than the ocean, so it was a thrill to watch its flight over the breaking surf.