Foundation Pour

YIPPEE!!!!  The day finally arrived for them to pour the foundation.  Just getting to this point is such a relief!

Over the last week (since missing our first pour date) it has rained… A LOT.  The trench they dug in the back was full of water and the plastic they put around the perimeter were full.  The guys came the day before to pull the plastic and get any misc things cleaned up.

The pour was scheduled for 5am so we left the house at 4:30.  Stacey was THRILLED to be up so early to watch a bunch of concrete trucks, so we bribed her with hot chocolate…this was probably the coldest morning yet this fall.

The pumper truck was already there.  The electric was not up yet, so the guys put up some flood lights running off of a generator and also lit a fire to stay warm (and fix breakfast tacos).

The cement trucks were behind, and the first one did not show up until 6:30.  Once they did, it was go time.  About 9 trucks were there right in a row, but then it slowed down about 9:30 and there was a truck coming about every 20 minutes.

It was neat watching the pumper guy control the arm using a remote control.  Wade joked with him it was like playing video games all day long.  Yeah…something like that.  The pumper was brand new…we were the first pour with it.  As the guy moved his body, the arm moved with him.  It was fascinating to watch!  (That is him below standing just under the “elbow” of the pumper arm.)

They missed the amount of concrete needed by about 6 trucks.  We ended up needing 22 trucks…about 210 yards of concrete for a 4300 sq ft foundation.  That is a lot of concrete!

Our culvert took a beating but survived.  We have heard horror stories about culverts caving in with the weight of the cement trucks.  Not only do you have to repair the culvert, but you have to pay for a truckload of cement!

The guys had to scramble at the end and did not spend as much time polishing the last bit (the art room).  Of all the rooms to not be perfect, I guess that one is okay.

Tada!  I just need to add these guys are artists with concrete.  If you can call a foundation beautiful…this one certainly is!  It is amazing building your own house what a better quality you get compared to a speck house in a neighborhood.  A huge shout out to AMP Concrete.  We LOVE our foundation!

Foundation work

Once we had access again to the property, the house building could continue.  The foundation guys came out and built out the most important part of the house.

First they put the outside frame down.

Next came the underground plumbing.

Then more dirt and sand.

Because of our soil type, we have to have 42″ beams around the perimeter of the foundation.

This took 2 days longer than the guys expected…so we missed our foundation pour.  The main sub kept telling us that we have a VERY strong foundation!  There is a ton of steel in the design.

This is the final day just after they put the re-bar on the top.  There is still a week before the pour, so they put plastic over the perimeter of the foundation in preparation for the rain we are supposed to have this weekend.  If it does rain, there is a deep trench in the back that will allow the water to drain out. And the guys also said they will bring in pumps to get out any remaining water.

From start to finish, this took exactly 3 weeks.

Building a bulkhead for the culvert

Just after the guys finished the house pad, the rains came in.  We had record flooding again…just like in May.  This time, it washed the sides of the culvert away. Just as we were getting started with the construction of the house, now we were on hold again since we could not get equipment across.

One of our neighbors down the street had an impressive railing built around his culvert that Wade and I had been eyeing since we bought our property.  We eventually wanted to build what he had…but not until AFTER we finished the house.  That did not go as planned and we ended up with a railing on it sooner rather than later.

There was a small section left of crushed concrete, just enough to get a backhoe onto the property.  And work began on the bulkhead around the culvert.

Pouring another several thousand dollars into our culvert…we now have something that looks like this:

On a side note…this is when we found out we did NOT have stabilized sand in our culvert.  If we did, it would have turned into concrete and would not have washed away and would have had to be chipped out to build the bulkhead.  Our fault for not checking up on that during the culvert build.

House pad

The site prep and house pad took about a week to finish. First they cleared about 6 inches off the top, then came back and filled it so that it was about 18″ off of the natural ground.  The back slopes down, so the pad is about 48″ off of the natural ground.

We heard several times from the foundation people that our pad guy did an excellent job!

They finished just in time.  We had some heavy rain that weekend which led to more culvert drama…

Knocking the trees and weeds down

One of the first things we had to do when we gained access was to mow again.  This would only be our 3rd time all year to mow, so the grass was tall.

Wade and I had been discussing all year what kind of mower we wanted.  He was set on getting a ZTR like our neighbor in addition to a Polaris Ranger.  I wanted a tractor for the many uses besides mowing.  The tractor won out…and we have used it almost daily.

Our first time mowing.

We also had some major cleaning up to do.  Back in May when it flooded, we think there was a small tornado/micro-burst that broke the tops off of the trees.  We lost 3 trees and several tops of big trees.  In fact, we still have some dead branches that need to come down.  There were also trees that have been dead for some time that very easily were knocked over by the tractor.  (See the scary Halloween tree?  I wish we could have save it just for one year to decorate it…)

Between a chainsaw and the tractor, we were able to make 5 very large burn piles.

It took almost 2 weeks, but we finally feel like we have a handle on the land.