Monday, June 29, 2009

finessing the foundation

Jonathan - one of the builders - was here today. He painted the bottom half of the foundation walls with hydrocide... knocked off metal brackets leftover from the forms having been removed... cleaned off the "cream" (leftover spooge at the base of the walls that oozes out as it dries - similar to the Buddha statue's garotte of gorilla glue). Last but not least, he pumped out thousands of gallons of water from under the foundation and from the moat.

The excavator should be here tomorrow to backfill. This is kind of a bummer, in a way, because I've been getting these pictures by standing on top of the dirt mountain. And the dirt mountain will go away. As will the gravel road. But I guess, ultimately, I can let the dirt mountain go. Yeah, I can let it go.

Soon, that cute little garden shed in the background won't be visible from this side of the house.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The walls are poured, the forms are gone

Hey look, it's starting to look REAL now, isn't it? Removing the forms is a somewhat noisy affair. We were both in town today, so we didn't have to listen to it, but the cats were both under the bed for the duration. The concrete dude in this picture is where the bump out to the existing living room will be.
And here's the scene from the top of the mountain of dirt.

If I understand this correctly, in another couple of days they'll be back to fill in the foundation and pour the slab, and fill in the moat (kind of a bummer, as what is a castle without a moat?)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

it's hard to sleep in on a saturday...

...when the concrete guys show up at 7:30 am. Actually, I was about to get up anyway, and actually, we're thrilled they came - the only sun we're supposed to have for the next week or so is this morning.

Four guys worked for about four hours putting in the forms for the foundation walls.

Friday, June 19, 2009

mud, gravel, and other interim joys

It's been raining lately. A lot. Which means it's been pretty muddy -- so muddy, that the driveway and lawn won't support the weight of the equipment. So yesterday, we got a voicemail from the contractor warning us that we have um, a road, in the lawn now.Here's the truck that arrived today.

...and all of the fun stuff they'll need next, to start building up the walls.

Oh, and that standing water, that I was worried about yesterday?
That was nothing. Here's what it looks like today:

My thinking is, "underground koi pond", but Kevin - as usual - thinks way bigger than me: piranha. And a second trap door, from the crawlspace, into the murky depths. That certainly is one way to handle unwanted guests.

While I was wandering around taking pictures, I wanted to illustrate the hazards of an unmowed lawn. Here's the Buddha statue - this is the statue that fell over in the trunk of the car with a loud THUD on my way home from the store. When I got home, I was dismayed to see his head had fallen off. Ooops. (They do say that if you meet the bodhisattva on the road, kill it...) You can see the traces of gorilla glue if you look closely at his neck.

And while I was getting in close to FrankenBuddha,
I saw movement in the grass: a fat frog.

We eyed one another warily.

That's it for today.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

the foundation was poured today

I don't know what to make of the standing water. I was up in Montpelier today, chatting with a state employee, and mentioned this project to her. I told her about the ledge, and how we're just going to have a crawlspace instead of a full basement. She said her parents had a crawlspace that when left unattended -- all the windows in the house closed for multiple days on end - got damp and spewed mildew up onto the walls behind all the furniture. Ack!

OK, pictures:

Monday, June 15, 2009

They took away the backhoe, but left us with a ton of gravel. At the top right corner is the ledge-iest spot - the place we'd planned to have the external door to the basement. I'm not sure what that very impressive black pipe is all about. No doubt it's Very Important.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

we are the proud owners of a big hole in the ground.

Not just ANY hole in the ground: OUR hole in the ground. And not just your regular, run of the mill hole in the ground - no, no: we got the special, not-available-in-stores, water-filled hole in the ground! Hooray!

This picture was taken from the north end of the lawn, facing south. See how the middle window is covered in plastic? We never bothered to replace it, because it will be subsumed in the wall of the addition.

e water in question is ground water. Apparently we have a high water table - perhaps because of the boatload of ledge involved. This was news to us. Rather than blow $7,000 to $15,000 on dynamiting it out of the way (as fun as that sounds!), we're scrapping the full basement idea. We'll just have a fully insulated crawlspace, instead. This will mess with The Lovely Clean Lines we had envisioned for the project as a whole...

...because the existing house's bulkhead (which we'd planned on removing, replacing it with a door into the addition's basement), will need to stay. On the bright side, the effort we'd invested to improve said bulkhead (better, insulated door into the basement proper, new roofing - thanks to our friend Michael), won't have gone to waste.

AND, we'll have a trap door into the crawlspace from the floor above it, and I've always wanted a secret trap door.

Always look on the bright side, I say.

Any how. It rained yesterday, and the excavators stayed away - otherwise, the digging would have wrapped up. The foundation guys should be here this week.