Saturday, September 26, 2015

Days 9 & 10: Deliveries

On Day 9 we got a delivery of blocks.  There are 830 in total.  A separate delivery driver brought bags of mortar mix.  The blocks will be stacked from the poured footer up to the string line.  The block layers are paid per block.  Our cost per block will be a bit higher than normal as the blocks must be lifted over the rebar sticking out of the footer.  This is a bit more time consuming.

We also met with a plumber.  He was recommended by our sub-contractor (and new best friend).  The plumber will do everything from putting in the drain lines to hooking everything (toilets, sinks, etc.) up.  He also provides a one year warranty on all of his work.  W can do plumbing, but it is not his favorite thing.  We decided the price and warranty make it worth hiring out!

On day 10 two loads of sand were delivered.  It started raining right after they delivered it which is why this picture is so dark.  The sand goes into the mortar.  The leftover sand will go into the floor of the house before the foundation is poured.

I did not realize all of the small steps that go into a house foundation.  Everything is going smoothly so far.  Rain is in the forecast.  It may slow us down a bit depending on how much and when it rains.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Day 8 - Pouring Concrete

On day 8 we were ready for concrete to be poured in the footer.  First there were bulkheads put in at each step of the footer.  You can see that below.  It is the piece of plywood held in place with two metal stakes.  This helps control where the concrete goes and keeps it in place.

The footer was poured in sections.  The height of the concrete was checked multiple times for each section.  It needed to be the proper height to ensure the next step (block) will be correct.

The finished footer

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Days 4 and 7

Days 4 and 7 (5 & 6 were the weekend) found us continuing to work on the footer.  Rebar was set in the hole that was dug previously.  Due to the amount of weight that will be on the walls, the sub-contractor put in extra rebar.  The pieces sticking up are for the block to sit over.

This is not common for most houses.  We need the foundation to be extra sturdy and to stay put.  A little extra money up front will save us in the long run.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Construction Has Started: Days 1-3

What a difference a week makes.  On September 8 we were still waiting with no clear idea of when construction would start.  By September 12 W called to let me know that the sub-contractor would be here the following week.  Later in the day he called again to tell me that work would begin on September 15 (Tuesday).  We spent Monday running errands, finalizing the building permit, and trying to stay calm.  Okay, the last part was mostly me.

The yard on Monday before construction started. 

At the end of Day 1

At the end of Day 2

At the end of Day 3

The first three days have been spent squaring everything up and digging the footer.  Our house will be made of insulated concrete forms (ICF) so the foundation needs to be able to hold up the weight.  Most of the weight (200,000+ pounds) will be on the outside so the footer is done a bit different than on wood homes.

I have been getting a crash course on home building.  If you can see the string, that indicates where the floor of the house will be.  The front is not too high, but due the level of the ground the back will be much higher.  That translates into more blocks (and more money).  A level foundation is a necessity for an ICF home.  This is the portion of the construction that is out of our control.  It needs to be correct so we are paying what it costs to have it as near perfect as possible.

This is a new adventure for both W and myself.  I am nervous, excited, and maybe a bit stressed.  I hope you will follow me on this journey from Day 1 until completion.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Still Waiting...But Being Proactive

We are still waiting for the guys who will do the foundation. We are getting a good lesson in patience.  Even though we are in a time of waiting, we are still doing a few things.

First up on our list this week is to get the building permit.  When the foundation guys are ready, we will be too.  This is an easy step but is also the first big expense.  Of course as soon as those foundation guys show up, that amount will seem like spare change.

Second is making a price list of building supplies.  I know we will not cover everything in this first trip to the home supply store.  This will cover the basic items that we will definitely need.  The larger plan is to make purchases from this list when coupons are released.  Building a new home is not cheap, but we do plan to save where we can.  Those dollars add up over time and turn into less money that we need to borrow.