Saturday, February 28, 2015

The area for the pad being cleared

One of the single most time-consuming tasks in house construction is preparing the pad on which to pour the foundation (we have "slab" foundations here).  The pad is  built up to create a level space for the foundation.  Our property slopes at a rate of 1 foot of drop per 30 linear feet.  The back part of our five-car garage, which represents the deepest construction element, will be about five feet above its natural 'ground'.

Why does it take so long?  It has a lot of variables.  It is weather dependent, it is "trades" dependent (can you get a contractor out there), and dirt dependent.  It is hard to work with mud, to smooth it, and avoid digging deep trenches in it when the soil is wet.  This is especially true when felling trees and pulling them out by the root-ball (we do not want tree roots trying to find their wat through our foundation).  Trade dependency includes their availability, the state of their equipment, and the health of both them and their families.  Sometimes you have to take off when mom needs to make an urgent run to the hospital.  The dirt has to be on order and qualified by specifications and available at the time we need it for the par.  All told, this one-week job, as advertised, has turned into a three-week job and counting.

Here are some pictures of the clearing efforts and debris removal:

Looking from the road and into the property, near the center of the house.

Hopefully, we will have the pad actually built by the end of next week.  At that point, the form of the foundation will be made, and we will tweak its position to make sure we are all satisfied with the placement of the house.  Initial utilities will then be placed, verified, then concrete will be poured.  Allegedly, after this point, things get moving very quickly.  We hope this is true.  We hope.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A dream becoming real...

The tree leaning near the center of this picture is why we call our property Leaning Oak, and the inspiration for the name of this blog.  The above picture was taken in January of 2014, after we had cleared the underbrush.  We bought the property in 2007, but waited to do any clearing until we were ready to build, which is this year.  The underbrush was so thick we could not examine but a small portion of the property via a trail along the left boundary line.  The clearing above represented the first time we could examine the property and begin to imagine how our house might be placed.  In actuality, only the front third of the property was cleared of underbrush.

The picture below is an aerial view courtesy of our surveyor and Google Maps.  The stars indicate the property corners and represents a lot of five acres.

The pictures and stories which follow in this blog will be about the progress my wife Pam and I make toward a dream that began a very long time ago. 

The house in the background of the blog is the architect's rendering of the house we designed together and now is coming to fruition.  We invite you along on this adventure.