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March 1 - These blocks are part of the foundation wall. The short pieces of steel rebar are embedded in the footer. The long pieces will be embedded in the slab. This will hold everything together nicely. Fill dirt will be packed in place to the lower part of the block. The top edge of the block is where the top of the slab will be.
March 1 - Most of the wall sheathing is in place. The doorway has not been cut to proper size yet.
March 1 - The water pipes (white) and electrical conduit (gray) come up in the garage. One of the (approximately) 30 tie down steel rods is on the right. (The distortion is because of the camera. The rods and studs are straight.)
March 1 - The ceiling of the garage is flat with no support columns. These large beams support the load.
March 1 - More details are visible from the road. The worker on the roof is cutting and tightening the steel tie down rods.
March 2 - At 3 pm, most of the roof plywood is in place. Only one narrow strip along the ridge remains.
March 2 - This is the end of the garage towards the road. A survey reverence is near the two stakes with pink tape.
March 2 - The ice and water shield (heavy duty underlayment) is being placed on the roof.
March 2 - This is the house side of the garage. Nailing and strapping inspection is scheduled for tomorrow.
March 3 - The garage as seen from the road. It has been wrapped and the roof has ice and water shield on it. Windows have not been cut in the house wrap yet. There are also some small portions that still need house wrap.
March 3 - We passed nailing inspection yesterday. The house foundation walls are visible in the background. House wrap will be finished soon. An 'As Built' survey was also conducted to insure all buildings are within property lines.
March 3 - Ceiling joists were implemented so the garage has a flat ceiling (with no dropped beams). The direction of the joists is different in some areas to conserve materials.
March 3 - The view under the roof exposes the complex framing of the ceiling and roof.
March 4 - The mixer is unloading concrete into the pump trailer. The concrete is then pumped in a hose that is about the size of a fire hose, but much stronger. The operator has a remote control so as he fills cores, he can turn the pump on and off as necessary.
March 4 - This is the other end of the hose. If you look closely, you can see the stream of concrete going into the block cores.
March 4 - While the foundation guys were waiting on the concrete, they removed most of the batter boards. This man is cleaning concrete splashed on the top of the blocks.
March 4 - By code, the steel rebar has to be grounded. The solid copper wire ties to the rebar and is fastened to a ground rod.
March 4 - The blocks are filled to within about 1-1/2 blocks of the top. When the slab is poured, it will flow down into the top 1-1/2 blocks to form a very strong bond. The steel ladder reinforcement is showing in the core on the right.
March 7 - About 8:50am, the first load of fill dirt arrives. We will need 30 or 40 dump trucks full.
March 7 - The foundation sub is using a skid steer to move the dirt from the drive area to inside the foundation.
March 7 - Conceptually, this is an easy 3 step process: 1) add fill, 2) pack fill, 3) repeat until full. In practice, it is a bit more difficult.
March 7 - More fill and more packing. Now one block is showing.
March 7 - Success! The back porch foundation wall is filled.
March 7 - Dirt is being added to the screen porch of the main house. Several areas are enclosed, so fill has to be added over the foundation wall.
March 7 - The large areas are packed with a roller packer. Once the areas are filled and packed, we will have a soil compaction test to guarantee the fill is packed sufficiently.
March 7 - The sub brought a second skid steer to speed things along. Work is proceeding on the main house. It is the same routine: add fill, pack, repeat until full.
March 7 - Fill levels are coming up on the north end of the main house. The footprint of the main house is large - a little over 1/10 acre, so it will take a good bit of fill.
March 8 - By noon, we were making good progress with the fill. This is about 22 dump trucks full (15 cubic yards each) between the guest house and main house.
March 8 - The front porch and one of the rear screened porches is full of fill.
March 8 - At the end of the day, we have used 30 truckloads of fill. We will probably need another 8 or 10 loads.
March 9 - Here is one of the holes we pushed in the fill last evening to determine if the fill was compact. The hole is about 3 feet deep and 1/2 inch in diameter.
March 9 - A close look reveals what looks very much like water in the hole indicating water in the fill had drained into the hole over night.
March 9 - When the ground was depressed on each side of the hole by my feet, very wet mud came up. That is clear evidence the fill is very wet. The solution is easy, but not pleasant: wait for the fill to dry. It will take a day or two. Meanwhile we will add the remaining fill needed to the main house.
March 9 - After 38 dump trucks of fill dirt, we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel. Load number 39 is off the camera on the right side. Tomorrow, fill should be complete.
March 9 - The South end of the house needs a few loads of fill.
March 11 - The guest house is filled and packed as well as wet fill can be packed. The fill is drying, but it will probably be several days before we can have compaction testing. We will proceed with plumbing on Monday.
March 11 - The main house is also filled now. It took 43 loads (15 cubic yards each) to fill both structures. That is enough to fill up the inside of a 4 or 5 car garage.
March 11 - The Outdoor Living Room is going to have a suspended slab (a slab poured over steel decking). That is why there is no fill in it. The incoming and outgoing water pipes and conduits are visible in the foreground.
March 11 - The opening in the front of the house which was used to bring in fill dirt will be formed when the slab is poured. Tentatively the slab should be poured in about a week and a half.
March 14, 9am - We got some rain over the weekend. If you look at the far side in the center, you will see a large puddle on the fill. The fill itself seems to be relatively solid.
March 14, 9am - The main house also has some puddles on it. Again, the fill seems solid. The excess water should be gone in a few days.
March 14, 1pm - Pipes are coming up through the fill. This is the master bath and laundry area.
March 14, 4pm - By the end of the plumber's day, more pipes are in place.
March 15 - The drain lines make an interesting design in the fill. They all slope towards the guest house. The 2 inch and smaller lines slope about 1/4 inch per foot; the larger lines slope a little less. The lines will remain uncovered until the plumbing inspection.
March 15 - The main trunk line is going directly away from the camera. It is not quite to the far wall yet. This house is 95 feet long and plumbing literally runs from one end to the other.
March 15 - This is a close up of one of the fittings. Each joint has to be primed to clean and etch the pipe. This insures the glue will make a tight joint. The primer is dyed purple so the inspector can see that each joint was primed. If a joint was not glued, that will be obvious when the pipes are filled with water. That is one reason the pipes must remain uncovered until inspection.
March 15 - A number of terminations are visible. The far left, in the distance is the kitchen sink drain. Just to its right is the master lavatory. The tall pipe is a stand pipe. It will be filled with water to provide pressure on the system. (The outlet of the main trunk will be capped for this test.) If there is a leak, the water in the stand pipe will drain and the leak will be obvious.
March 17 - Most of the plumbing under the slab is in place on the main house.
March 17 - This is the junior master suite end of the house. The large pipes are for toilets. The other pipes are for vents, lavatories or showers.
March 17 - This is the plumbing crew on Thursday. They have most of the guest house finished. They have to pressurize the lines in both buildings in preparation for the inspection on Monday.
March 18 - A spade truck is being used to transplant trees to visually screen the house. First the truck digs a hole such as this one with 4 large spades.
March 18 - Next the truck finds a tree and digs it with the same spade truck so it fits nicely in the hole. If you look closely, you can see where the spade hole was before this pine tree was transplanted.
March 18 - The plug is more evident on this transplanted crepe myrtle.
March 18 - There are two new pines and several crepe myrtles now screening the west side of the house.
March 18 - The guest house is ready for a plumbing inspection. The waste lines are filled with water to verify the joints are water tight. The tall stand pipe in the background is full of water which puts pressure on the drain system.
March 18 - The main house is also ready for inspection which should occur on Monday. The stand pipe for the main house is clearly visible just right of center in the photo. The gray pipes are electrical conduits.
March 18 - A hose bib will go on this wall (under the master bedroom). The pipe to the hose bib will be fed through the white pipe and run to the crawl space under the outdoor living area.
March 22 - More screening has been planted along the road. These fresh transplants already screen the garage relatively well.
March 22 - In a few weeks, the main house will begin to come out of the ground to the right of the garage. Screening, once it fills in, will help obstruct the view of the main house.
March 22 - This screening blocks the view of the neighbor's home. The cleared area is where the septic system drain field will be installed.
March 24 - Plumbing inspection: passed. Soil compaction test: passed. Termite treatment: done. Footers dug. Plastic is in place. Steel mesh is down. The remaining steel reinforcement and Outdoor Living area steel decking will be put in place. Weather permitting inspection will be on Tuesday. The conduit (gray pipe) is now securely in place. The black tubs are where showers will be installed.
March 24 - The guest house is ready for inspection. The wood form closes up the opening that was used to bring in fill dirt. Both buildings will be inspected on Tuesday and concrete poured on Wednesday if all goes according to plan.
March 28 - The recessed area is to provide support for the great room fireplace. Our rain over the weekend filled this depression. Tomorrow, the foundation sub will bring a pump and empty the footers and depressions.
March 28 - The footers also have some water in them. These footers are to strengthen the slab and provide extra support for load bearing walls. The footers have steel rebar (reinforcing) in them. Notice the black foam on the water pipe. This foam protects the pipe from the concrete.
March 28 - Forms are going up for the porches. An inspection is scheduled for tomorrow. Rains return on Thursday. Hopefully, we can get the slabs poured before the rain falls.
March 29 - The guest house is ready for the slab to be poured. The plastic and steel reinforcement is in place and has been inspected. Soil compaction was tested. Plumbing was inspected. Weather permitting it will be poured tomorrow.
March 29 - The main house is almost ready for the slab to be poured. Because of availability of concrete tomorrow, the pour of the main house will be done Monday, weather permitting. The step down area is the front porch.
March 29 - The plastic is still holding water from the past weekend rain. More rain is forecast for this coming weekend, so we won't pump water out until just before we pour the main house on Monday.
March 30 - Pouring concrete for the guest house slab began about 8:40 am. It will take just over 20 yards (40 tons) of concrete.
March 30 - Pouring continues. Each truck holds about 10 cubic yards, so we will need two full trucks and maybe a little more. The steel 6x6 mesh is in place. The footer rebars are in place. The gray pipes are electrical conduit. The white pipes are plumbing drain lines.
March 30 - The slab is poured except for the back porch. It turns out we did need a third truck for the back porch. The final truck left about 11:30am. A man is filling the power trowel with gasoline while the other does hand troweling around the protrusions (pipes, etc.) in the floor. They will be working the concrete for another few hours.
March 30 - About 30 minutes after the third truck left, the wall framing package arrived. It is sitting on blocks to keep it out of the moist soil and now covered with plastic to keep it as dry as possible when it rains on Friday.
March 30 - The 'instant' guest house is beside the slab. All the framer has to do is cut each piece of lumber correctly and nail it in the correct location. As soon as the concrete mixers for the main house have come and gone, we will order the rest of the material for the guest house. The material on site will keep the framers busy for a week or so -- plenty of time to get the ceiling and roof materials.