Monday, October 17, 2011

big plans: laying strong foundations

"a successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him"
- David Brinkley
i think this is a great quote for our project, we will be successful as long as we continue to make good choices and to take things as they are thrown at us, especially now as we are getting into the real building process- the foundation!

this week the boulder retaining wall continues, we are waiting on finding some decent rock for steps, but the guys should finish up sometime later in the week.  björn is also planning on starting to dig the foundation.  we still have the back hoe for another 15 or so days, which should be plenty of time to dig a really big hole!

because of the type of soil that we are on the foundation type has changed several times as we have learned more about the soils, and also about the flood plane.  due to some changes in the FEMA 100yr flood plane data we are now required to bring our foundation up above that level.  so remember that awesome basement i was going to get here,...yeah not anymore.  cest la vie, now we are going to be building what is called a mat foundation.  

our guys wonderful guys, Tucker and Dave, at Wilson Structural Engineering have been so patient with us as we try to understand the issues that we may be facing.  (and to understand what the heck we are doing)  they have designed a foundation which to me seems a lot like a thick slab on grade with stem walls.  now if you know anything about physics (not that i do by any means... i did get a D in physics) having a slab will spread the load over the entire foot print of our house.  this is a good thing!  if there is any settling due to unstable soils in the future, our house will be minimally effected, if at all!  with the addition of the stem walls we have now created a crawlspace below the house so that electrical, plumbing and other such things will be a cinch!

this is a detail of what our foundation will look like in section

coming up this week:

  • retaining wall completed- hopefully
  • björn begins digging foundation
  • whitney to start talking to cabinet manufacturers

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