The challenge has been to figure out how to put an 8 foot basement addition up against a 4 foot existing basement without the house falling in the hole when the excavating is done for the new wall. I'm glad I didn't have to figure this one out. Ben has had an LVL laminated beam made which will support the house front so John can excavate away without fear of disaster.
Here is Ben jackhammering a chunk of the basement away after scoring a line with a cement cutting saw. As each floor joist is exposed a temporary 2x4 goes in from the footing to the joist. Tomorrow when the jackhammering is finished the beam will be muscled into place underneath the sill. Then when John comes to excavate the wall can be pulled out and lugged away.
And yes, Lori, Ben got a lecture about wearing his dust mask on his forehead !