Monday, May 14, 2012

Backfilling the foundation.

Although I have let the cat out of the bag, I need to go back and cover some prior work first. Otherwise, it might be to jarring for our reader to follow the progress. Where we last left off, I had just built the shed for the kitchen. The next step was to install the drainage and backfill the foundation. This would make it easier to work around the house and start framing.

The first step was to clean up the trench around the foundation.

The light colored stuff in this picture is called "Form-A-Drain", it was supposed to act as drainage and a form board, all in one. Well it kinda sucked. It required a lot of support and still ended up wavy. And then it was really easy for the concrete to flow below and back into the drainage holes. So I decided I'd rather pull it out than rely on it and have it fail quickly.

Once I removed it all, I cleaned up the trench around the foundation and lined the trench with "trench wrap". This is supposed to keep silt from getting into the drainage line and blocking it. This was pretty straight-forward, so I rented a dump truck and a dingo and the lady started hauling away old bricks and concrete and bringing back drainage gravel.

The first step was moving the cultured stone from the driveway to the side of the driveway. I figured the dingo would do this easily, but it lost a track.

I figured there weren't enough gratuitous pictures of the Toro Dingo in the blog and this machine has saved me so much effort. So here it is, in it's hour of need.

Well, I started working and forgot to take pictures, but here is the trench after being filled with drainage rock, and after covering it with filter fabric. I found the trench wrap to be a little too easily torn, so I upgraded to filter fabric, which is much stronger and less likely to let silt into the drainage.

Here is the drainage after being backfilled. This was a pretty major moment for me. Having the foundation completed, drainage installed and being backfilled has taken over a year from the permit being issued. It's also taken much more money than I planned.

But it's finally starting to feel like real progress is being made and that it's actually more of a house than a money-pit.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A message from Gretchen and Henrietta.

I'll post pictures of the demo soon.

But the ladies just wanted you to know, that the sun has been out lately, and they've been lounging about in the front yard more.

Monday, May 7, 2012

I'd be a poor politician...

because I change my mind when confronted with a clear, rational argument.

Remember how I said we would be framing the first floor and then eventually framing the second floor?

Well, after a discussion with Trent and Greg, from Pallet and Palette, I decided to go ahead and demo it down to the subfloor and let them re-build the structure from scratch. The end product would be better and the whole process will be much more straight-forward.

Honestly, a large part of this decision was the trust I have in Trent and his crew at Pallet and Palette. If I were to only renovate the first floor now, was the idea that I could complete the work if the contractor flaked out (which already happened). Demo'ing the first floor and committing to both floor at once means I need to have a lot of trust in the contractor to finish the job in a timely and efficient manner. And I have that trust in Pallet and Palette.

I bring you the final wall coming down. Trent was kind enough to record this while I was at work:

PS, I'll post more pictures of the demo later in the week.