Monday, April 25, 2005

Victory over Mud and Other Progress

When I left off, we were waist deep in mud and wondering what the heck we had gotten ourselves into.

Happily, the mud has abated and things have dried up considerably at our site. The slab plumbing rough-in is complete with the exception of the garage floor drains, and stacking of the upper level walls is in progress and planned to be complete by the end of this week in anticipation of road restrictions being lifted on or near May 1st.
We got our interior and exterior drain tile in place (finally!)

and I was able to call the excavator and have him come and backfill, so things are looking a little better and access to the house has greatly improved.

Most of our time at the site lately has been doing clean up and organizing materials and equipment in preparation for the foundation slab pour. The bracing for the upper portion of the walls in the living room will remain until the upper level concrete is placed, so we're working around that for now and planning to complete as much of the prep work for the foundation slab as possible in the coming couple of weeks. Once the bracing is down, we'll be in another mad race to get the under slab vapor barrier, insulation and PEX tubing in place. We're hoping to have the foundation slab poured by the second week of May, and assuming the wall pour happens on schedule, we'll be ready to hang steel for the roof at that point as well.

I'm feeling both excited and nervous that we're nearing a point where things will start happening very quickly, and it's a little overwhelming to think of everything I'll need to be taking care of in the next few months. Which is not even to mention what's ahead in terms getting our current home ready for market and preparing to move. Whew.

I spent a day last week with my builder uncle getting a lesson in window installation. Although he's a stick builder, it was good to get a handle on the basics and hopefully Vern and I will be able to install most or all of the smaller windows on our own. I'm also going to try and get in a framing lesson with him sometime soon so I'll be useful when it comes time to build our interior walls.

I've been struggling with finding a contractor for our interior stairs. It seems like metal fabricators either specialize in ornamental work (which we definitely do not require) and aren't interested in doing something basic, don't do residential, or never get back to me with a bid.

Also on my agenda:
Doing a few test slabs for our poured concrete countertops to get a better idea what's in store there and if I should start sourcing a plan B.
Drawing and planning for the poured concrete Ofuro tub in our master bathroom.
Finalizing the cabinet plan.
Finalizing exterior plan.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Homeowners vs. Mud

Vern decided to take the day off from work today to take advantage of the nice weather so we were at it again bright and early this morning. I'm happy to report that we've got things cleaned up nicely albeit at the cost of being forever known in our town as the mud people.
Frozen frost blankets a little worse for wear, yes, but our footings are now accessible and ready for gravel and drain tile. Since the cost of gravel is primarily a hauling charge, and we're prevented from hauling anything more than a couple of yards at a time because of road restrictions, we're taking the DIY route and planning to haul it ourselves. It just didn't make sense to pay $130/load for a dumptruck to bring what amounts to only twice as much as I can haul in our truck, so I'll be off to the gravel pit tomorrow. Hopefully this will work out better anyway, since I think we should be able to back the truck up to the edge of the trench on the north side and shovel gravel directly into place instead of shoveling it from pile to wheelbarrow and then wheeling it all the way around the house. At this point I'm all about less shoveling. So the gist is that the mud problem from last week that we thought would prevent us from drain tiling and backfilling for at least a month is no longer a problem and we should have our dirt issues buttoned up in the next few days. Homeowners 1, mud 0. Moral of the story: even the biggest most daunting pile of mud (or project) can be moved a little at a time, you just need to start digging.