Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Mud wrestling a house

Sorry for the lack of updates, but the work on the house has gotten in the way of documenting the work on the house.

Things have been progressing quite well. We needed to get the drainage material and the rest of the buffer boards in place, so Adam could start backfilling, and so Scott could start building my retaining walls. I talked to the inspector, and found, that I needed to put filter fabric over the gravel, that was over the drain tile. Not a problem on the south or west sides. On the north side, I knew I would have to dig out some dirt that had fallen in. The east side was a completely different story. I knew a lot of dirt had fallen in on top of the gravel, so it was going to call for getting some equipment in, and someone who could operate it. Adam, its time to rent the excavator again. I got a two for one deal from the rental place, I rented on Saturday the 17th, and only payed for a one day rental, but didn't have to have it back until Monday morning.

I drove the excavator in while Adam parked his truck.

Adam and my dad discuss how we will dig out the east side.

Adam worked along, excavating down to the footer, where the gravel came up to. I watched, and removed the dirt clods and mud that remained, that I thought might be a problem for drainage. Adam did not like having the excavator up on a somewhat unstable piece of ground next to my house. He did an excellent job though.

When we finished, the trench looked pretty good.

Adam also dug the trenches for the daylight drain for the foundation drain, and the trenches for the ventilation, solar, and well connections. He also put more gravel around on the south and west sides so they would have proper drainage.

After Adam left, we worked on getting the waterproofing straightened out on the north side. We still had furring strips up holding the blue tarp on.

Dad removing the furring strips

We lifted the waterproofing out of the way, then removed the furring strips, then put the waterproofing back down.

Sunday the 18th, Adam and I started pretty early. He worked on loosening up and moving some of the dirt around, that was originally excavated out for my house, so it would be ready for use in backfilling. He also worked on getting the ground dug down, where the retaining walls will go.
I worked on getting the filter fabric laid down on the east side, so we could put more gravel on top.

Filter fabric in place.

Then I started unrolling the drainage material in the trench against the wall. There wasn't much room to work with it, and it was bulky. Imagine yourself wrapped in a tortilla and set in the oven. I got it mostly in position, before my dad got there. I went for lunch, and he and Adam got the drainage sheet in place. We fastened it to the wall, it took all three of us to man handle it until we got it partially attached. We anchored it with long screws through Trex blocks. Once it was in position, Adam started dumping gravel in the trench.

Backfilling the bottom with gravel.

At that point, we had a bunch of mounds of gravel in the trench. So Monday the 19th, I went out, and smoothed it out.

Smoothed out, ready for inspection, and backfill.

Then I went out, measured, cut and drilled the Trex for the buffer boards on the south east corner. Dad and Matt helped me that Thursday the 22nd with getting fresh plastic in place for the waterproofing, getting the buffer boards put up, and getting the drainage material hung on that corner.


Well after dark, we had it all done.

Now we had to get the north side finished up for the drain tile inspection on Monday the 26th. This proved to be a battle with mud. 60 feet of mud, and concrete chunks with rebar in them, and then hauling gravel in. All of it by hand, since Adam had not been able to reach this area safely with the excavator. 60 feet of mud, sweat and tears.

Finally, mud, and concrete are out, and gravel is in.

I went out Monday afternoon, before the inspection and worked on laying down the filter fabric and putting more gravel on top. The inspector was satisfied with what I had done, and I passed inspection. Time to start backfilling. Adam, what are you doing Monday night? Backfilling a house.

Now I can walk onto my roof!

Starting to come together.

Now the retaining walls should be getting started today, and tomorrow, if all goes well, I will have the garage and front door installed.

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