Friday, April 24

two guys walk into a rebar...

About two weeks after our footings were poured, and two days after our builder expected, the team arrived to start working on the rebar grid for our basement walls.  We drove by more out of habit than having any expectations late on April 7th. 
The workers were balancing on the rebar grid and planks of wood while tying the grid together.  They clearly have better balance than I do!  It was pretty interesting to watch how quickly and smoothly they worked. 


It's hard to see but the grid outlines where the concrete walls will be poured for the basement.  I couldn't believe how high it was going to be in places.

I expect there will be LOADS of dirt needed to fill in the yard and level it out.  To the left of the picture will be our bedroom, and my office, on the main floor.


You can see in the bottom of the picture that our water meter has taken a beating.  I'll be glad to have that repaired down the line.   Along with the busted sidewalk and curb. 

The next step is setting the wall forms and pouring the concrete walls.  Yay!

Rebar for the Walls -  day 80 of our build

Thursday, April 23

trench worry-fare...

By March 27, 2015... our footings had been poured and had been curing for a while.  We started to worry since the footing along the back of the house was currently a trench.  A trench filled with water..
See the muddy trench snaking along the back of our lot?
We finally reached out to our builder to make sure this was the plan.  He assured us that the back footing would be poured later.  We were worried over nothing, but I'm still glad we asked.

Footings with rebar.. and more red mud.
Now we wait.  Our next step is to have the walls formed and poured.  Hopefully.  If the weather will play nice and dry out a bit.

We kept close watch on the lot.  Driving by every day hoping for an update, hoping it would dry out, hoping we'd see some changes.  We knew the building market had picked up, based on a conversation with our builder and realtor.  Apparently everyone is ready to build right now, which is keeping the sub-contractors so busy that they are falling behind.

So now, we're hoping for cooperation from the sub-contractors' schedules and the weather.  Just lots of hoping and waiting..


Waiting on Walls -  day 69 of our build


Monday, April 20

starting out on the right footing..

On March 18th, Adam was off work and I was still serving my civic duty at the courthouse. The trial I was assigned to ended up lasting all week.  At least I won't have to serve again for a few years, and during that week -  I was able to do a lot of house snooping, checking up on the progress during breaks and after court was release for the day.

We drove by the lot towards the end of the day and were able to see some serious work being completed.  The guys were pouring our footings using this massive pump truck.



Our builder told us later that the pump truck cost about $60,000 to buy and about $1,000 +/- an hour to rent.  No wonder these guys worked so quickly!

Adam and I were intrigued by the whole process.  We hung around later as they folded the pump trucks crane away.  Finally we decided it was best to get out of their way.  Still, I'm loving how much we're learning through this whole process.  There are so many interesting stages along the way.

Up next, walls.... maybe?

Pouring the Footings - 60 days into our build

go digger go!

I tend to get off work a little earlier than the Man does.  A lot earlier actually.  Most times, I'm pretty patient and wait for him to get home before we swing by the lot to check on things.  However, the week of March 17th, I had the joy of serving jury duty.  This meant I was local for the day and had ample time on lunch compared to my norm.  I swung by the lot after hitting the drive thru on a sunny day, hoping I'd catch some work in progress.

Yay!  Holes in dirt!
 I lucked out!  The crew was there digging the trenches for our footings.  This is when I could really start to see the outline of our home's footprint.

The workers on the crew even waved when they saw me playing paparazzi.
 I couldn't resist getting a short video of everyone in action.  Go digger go!  I mean, right on with that excavation!  Way to adhere to city and county codes!



I had to rush back to court or I would have spent the afternoon.  There's just something about seeing the work as it happens that is both reassuringly calm and thrilling at the same time.
 
Digging the Footings - 59 days into our build

Tuesday, April 14

raindrops on rebar...

March 13, 2015 was a Friday.  A rainy, dreary, Friday the 13th.  We stopped by the lot on the way to dinner to see how it was holding up.
The Man inspecting his kingdom.  His rainy, gross, muddy, kingdom.
I didn't even get out of the car, at first.  It was just too wet and cold.  It had been a long work week and I just didn't have it in me to stand out in the rain.  There was a quick reprieve in the sprinkles, and I found my favorite hoodie of the man's in the trunk.  Finally I had the motivation to get out and see if I could get some decent pictures before it started raining again.

Mud pit.. even muddier!
We both perked up a bit when we saw there was a delivery of rebar.  Does this hint at a potential workday?  Footings maybe?

Hurrah for rebar!

We dried out a bit and turned on the seat warmers in the car (those are amazing, by the way!).  As we went on our way, we hoped for many more sunny days.. and wondered when we'd see work on footings.

Monday, April 13

meet our mud pit

Note to self: When visiting an uneven, muddy, recently excavated lot -  don't wear flip flops.

Additional Note: Don't wear flip flops with a 2" wedge heel.  You will fall.

Yeah.  The man wanted to see the lot up close.  I was game.  After all... they had cleared and started digging out the basement.

OMG -  Dirt! Yay!
So we make our way around the side of the lot, and start cutting through the woods in the back.  I stepped wrong and BLAM!  I went down like a sack of potatoes.. with gravy.  I've never been a graceful one, but this was embarrassing.

I had a bruise for about a month.  And scraped my face on a tree.  "Hello tree, pardon me!"

The lot from the side.
It was worth it.  We had a blast walking around the space.  I loved imagining where our house would fit in all the mud. "This will be our bedroom.  Here's where I'll store all my Holiday decor."

Adam on one side of the dig, taken from the opposite stake.  Our house won't be this wide.. but still!  Can you see him?

I was just shocked by what a difference having the land cleared and dug out made.  It got really REAL really quick.  There were lots of "Oh my.. it's so massive.. like.. this is our house."

The Man showing how tall the dirt wall is.
I think the craziest part was seeing where the ground was dug out for the basement.  We'll have a walkout basement, but it just seemed so crazy to have this wall-O-dirt just hanging out on the lot.

Attempt at a selfie.. yay dirt pile!
The ground slopes enough where it can easily support a walk-out.... but I'm hoping they'll truck in some more dirt to level out the front yard and mellow the slope a bit.  Still, I'm so excited to have the extra space and room to grow if we choose.

Meet our mud pit!  Muddy since March 7, 2015.


Sunday, April 5

sorry tree..

We came back to visit the lot, not quite sure what to expect.  It had been pretty cold and I wasn't expecting much work to have been done.  Still -  we had a new addition to the party!

Our conversation went like this:

Me - "Oohh! Look.. a digger! Wait.. what's that called?"
The Man -  "An excavator?"
Me - "I like digger better. Let me get some pictures."

Amber waves of.. weeds?
The Man -  "More pictures?  Of the equipment?"
Me - "Yeah!  This is new.  New stuff."

Dig away, my friend!
The Man - "You aren't going to climb on that one are you?"
Me - "No.. I learned my lesson.  Besides, I'm not wearing the right shoes."
The Man -  "Uh-huh.."

At this point, I scampered away to take more pictures.  Yes, scampered.  I get very giddy when we visit the lot.  Sometimes giddy leads to scampering.  Deal with it.

With more of the debris cleared

It's like they're posing for a picture.  CAT-selfie!

This huge tree was down and I was sad to see it go.  But, the giant root ball was right under where my kitchen would be.. so yeah.

Sorry tree.  Wrong place, wrong time.
It was just March 4th, 2015 and not much time had passed since the trees were first cut.  We were far from a house, but at least our lot was cleared.  Now if the weather would just cooperate so all our soil .. er.. red clay.. doesn't wash away.

The trees on the back of the lot are starting to come back to life.  Here's to spring.. minus the showers.
I knew we wouldn't have much luck with the weather.  March is always very rainy in Alabama.  And the ominous clouds rolling in didn't seem to reassuring either.
Cloudy with a chance of...construction delays?