Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trees be gone

From the footing pour, you might remember that the trees out front were a pain in the ass.

Well, no more!

I had an arborist come and remove the trees. Because the trees were on a city owned planting strip, I had to have the work approved by the city arborist and then utilize a city approved contractor. But luckily, due to the time of year and the slow economy, it was relatively cheap.

I had them leave the firewood, which I'll give to my neighbors.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time for MUD!

(Mud is slang for concrete.)
When I last left off, I had decided to bring in a contractor to get the foundation completed and get the house framed up. Well I sought out bids from roughly 10 contractors and in the end, ended up going with one who had previously worked with a friend on his renovation. I chose Joe Strickland with Skyline Development. Great guy, intelligent, respects my budget and has tons of ideas for making the whole build faster and more efficient.

Onto the foundation!

The first thing to be done was to setup the forms and tie the rebar for the footing. This wasn't trivial as it would require a little excavation cleanup and then leveling the forms, reinforcing them and finally getting the rebar cut and in place. Joe and his son Bob, did a terrific job.

The inside form is made from 2x8s and the outside is a plastic drain / form called Form-A-Drain. The idea is that it will be used as a forms and then left in place as the perimeter drains, instead of having to install a 4" perforated pipe. I chose it because it seemed like it would make the footing easier to form and also because I had limited space for excavation and it would help with that. In the end, it was a pain in the ass to work with, and I'm not sure I would do it again.
To place the concrete, a pump truck was hired. The truck had a boom that would raise over the house, so that it could place the concrete around the entire perimeter without a lot of hassle. I couldn't believe how much easier this made the job, it was terrific.

In total, 12 yards of concrete were ordered, split into two trucks, one truck had 8 yards, the second truck had 4 yards. This is the second truck arriving.
 The process is simple actually, the concrete truck backs up to the pump truck and unloads the concrete into the hopper.

This picture hopefully shows the scale of the trucks, they are both quite large. Also, I was happy with the amount of use the curb cut took. I'm happy to say it fared perfectly well, no cracks, no damage.

Here, you can see the boom as it reaches over the house and pumps the concrete into the form at the back of the house. You can also see Joe and Bob working the concrete into the forms and smoothing it out.
You can tell from Joe's smile that this is the completion of the pour. I estimated that we would need 11.6 yards of concrete and so I ordered 12 yards, just in case. It turns out we needed just that amount. It worked out perfectly, no waste.
One of the odd things I found during the demolution, was that someone had placed a horseshoe under one of the original concrete piers for the house. I assume it was placed there for good luck. I made sure to save it.

So now, with the new foundation poured; I placed the old original horseshoe into the footing, along with the handprints of those who will make this house a home.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My first theft....

So I met a plumber at the site this morning to discuss the side sewer connection. It was early and I was a little out of it.

But after a while, I realised that something looked "off". I looked around and realised that someone had been to the house and stolen the old cast-iron waste pipe and the left over pin pile pipes. (Edit: the pipe was left, I was merely oblivious to it.)

All told, this was the first theft at the house, for which I'm grateful. And they only stole the leftover material. They left the rebar alone, and they left the foundation forming material alone, but still.