3/31/13: Easter Sunday. Bill and Catherine stand in the lot with the mountain backdrop to the west. Ground breaking can't be far away! Those mountains would get a lot of snow in April, record amounts in some areas.
4/29/13: Ground breaking! Finally! Those are the design blueprints in front of B & C. It was a tad windy.
5/4/13: I'd like to say that B&C dug the hole by themselves with that little shovel in the previous picture, but some heavier equipment was actually used. This is taken from what will be behind the house (which is open space).
5/4/13: That's Dale. He digs out a nice hole. He's from Texas. He took parts of 2 days to do the job.
Speaking of Texas, the hole is kinda' shaped like it. Hmmm...Catherine!!!!
5/4/13: That's a lot of dirt, although I must say the hole looks much smaller in person than in the pictures. I took this picture from our soon to be next door neighbors' lot. They will start building in 4-5 months. They're moving to CO from WA.
5/28/13: Busy worksite.The builder organizes the team that will bury 61 concrete caissons (also called piles or piers) that will basically anchor the house in place. Soil mitigation is a big deal in this area.
5/28/13: Along with our builder, JIm Lohr, people on site today include an engineer from the company that did the soil sample analysis and the structural engineer who reviewed and altered the design to conform with local codes; she also ensured that all the right soil mitigation techniques needed would be correctly applied.
5/28/13: A hole in the hole. Each of 61 caissons must be 35 feet deep. If they run into rock that prevents the drill from reaching that deep, they have to back off and get a stronger pile driver. That occurred more than once just in the time Catherine was there observing.
6/1/13: Only 8 of the 61 caissons have been completed in the first week. On Monday the 3rd they will come with a bigger, badder pile driver to complete the remaining 53. (It will take most or all of next week to complete them.)
Notice the rebar placed within each concrete caisson.
6/1/13: Another view of the 8 done to date, all along what will be the northern edge of the foundation/house. That lady in the picture is Joy, one of our new neighbors from down the street. She had turned her two boys (Jake and Sam ages 7 and 8) loose to climb on the mounds of dirt. Boys will be boys.
6/15/13: Now we count 57 caissons completed. Jim and his crew had to call in some heavier equipment to get the job done. I guess that means our house will be firmly situated.
615/13: Catherine is standing where the garage will be.
6/15/13: This will be where the front of the house sits.
6/22/15: Things look about the same as last week. The final 4 caissons have been placed. The caps on the rebar are a safety thing - keep curious kids from impaling themselves.
6/22/15: A ground level view from the bottom of the house hole. Looks like a rebar garden.
6/22/13: Bill is in time out in NE corner of the house hole. Gives you an idea of how deep the hole is.
6/22/15: Another house going up in the neighborhood. I have just one word for these folks if their house blocks my view: KABOOM! (Just kidding, NSA, FBI, DHS, CIA, Mr President!)
6/28/13: The foundation forms were delivered to our site but no further work this week.
6/28/13: I suppose this will have to pass for progress this week.
7/3/13: Now this is more like it! The forms have all been put in place and we're ready to pour the foundation.
7/3/13: Looks like they're building a warehouse not a single family home! Trust me, this is not a Walmart going in.
7/3/13: I don't know what that equipment/vehicle/truck is called, but the concrete trucks will pull up behind it, connect, and pump the concrete through the pipe and a worker will direct that hose at the end between the forms which are placed about 6-8 inches apart.
7/3/13: Rebar is positioned running horizontally and vertically between the forms.
7/3/13: The first of 6 trucks (could've been more, I left after 1 hour) connects to the "piping and pumping" vehicle.
7/3/13: That's Javier directing the concrete between the forms. He'll basically walk around the perimeter and "fill it up." I was told he'll average about 1 yard per minute.
7/3/13: I found out later the workers weren't sure if I was the owner or the builder. So they made themselves busy just in case! Actually, I could tell this wasn't "their first rodeo."
7/3/13: That guy standing just outside the hole was sorta the foreman. He has a remote control box he's using to direct the arm of the pipe. (He'll also talk YOUR arm off if you ask even a single question. Trust me on that.)
7/3/13: Javier begins the pouring.
7/3/13: The farther Javier moves along the more workers get involved doing their thing behind him.
7/3/13: Moving right along. The concrete will have to cure for a week or so.
7/6/13: The boys either stayed late Wednesday or returned Friday. I'm betting on the latter. You can see that things are leveled out and much tidier.
7/6/13: Taken from the spot where I was standing on 7/3/13 taking pictures. Lookin' good.
7/6/13: These square stands (for lack of a better word) are where the deck on the back of the house will rest.
7/6/13: We think these are to support the back stairs. (That's our story and we're stickin' to it.)
7/6/13: Next up: back filling, damp proofing, and - I forget - stay tuned.
7/16/13: May not look like it, but there's been activity in the past week +. They built the drain system to remove water from around the foundation. The "interior" has been leveled in preparation for the installation of the structured wood floor (the materials for which have been delivered and were stacked near the front of the house).
7/16/13: All that cardboard along the base of the walls is there for a purpose: they are called voids, and are there to allow for soil expansion. Where the concrete remains is where the caissons are supporting the foundation. The rest is allowed to serve as that buffer for the soil.
7/16/13: Backfilling should take place in a week or two.
7/16/13: One of two drains on the floor of the interior. The drain system has a filtering cloth above a layer of rock and buried pipe that borders the foundation. The cloth and rock filter out dirt and the pipe has holes in the top about every 4 inches. Excess water is collected from around the foundation and, thanks to Mr Gravity, delivered to this and the other drain where a pump (to be installed later) will push it out a 2 inch PVC pipe to the outdoors and away from the house.
7/22/13: A work in progress - the structured wood floor.
7/22/13: From what will be the back of the house.