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Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Unexpected Progress

With Rick in California for the week I really didn't think I'd make much progress on the house. Our friend Steve was here for the weekend (he and his wife own the property with us) and I was planning on helping him with a project on his trailer. What ended up happening, however, was he helped me with the house! We were able to get the rigid foam for the foundation insulation up on the north and west sides of the house!!!!

This is the north side of the house with foam installed.




Here I am in the ditch.


Steve doing his part.














Here it is all done!













View from the orchard.





Hero of the day!!! Thanks again, Steve!











Two steps forward, one step back . . . .
Later in the day I went out to look at our handy work and four panels had blown over! :-( Sooooo - bright and early Monday morning (5:30 to be exact) I went out and re-positioned them and added some more bracing and duct tape to all the panels. Two days later - after a rain storm yesterday - they are still all in place. Whew!

Friday, July 22, 2011





I have spent the better part of the last 6 weeks or so taking dirt OUT of the foundation trench. Finally we can start putting things IN! It's now time to start building our foundation. Last week we got 7 loads of gravel delivered - most of which has to go IN the trench.

Here are the 7 loads of gravel.


Devil in the details
This is a pretty exciting step! And one I'm eager to get on with!!! But there are lots of things that need to be considered and remembered. I woke up one morning at 4 am thinking about water lines. I know a line has to come into the garage at a 30" depth - we have that trench dug - but do I need to have a line go OUT? Will there be a pressurized hydrant on the north side of the house? Will there be one on the south side? Questions that have to be answered before we begin. After some discussion, it was decided that there needs to be a water line going out on the north side and one on the south side as well. Back to the trench to cut notches out to accommodate these lines.

Next came the gravel discussion. (Rick and I have decided that the Universe must think we need practice in communicating ) Do we put a little gravel in the trench before placing the rigid foam or put the foam in and then start adding the gravel. And how much gravel are we going to put under the French drain? We went back and forth with this discussion for a couple of days but finally decided that a bit of gravel would be put in first, then the foam. We would then get the gravel level and add the pipe. Whew! Glad we got that settled!!!

Rick is currently in San Diego attending his 50th High School reunion (!) so I'm here working on the house. I have spent the last two mornings moving gravel from a big pile to the trench. (NOTE: when working on any project, check your tools first to make sure they are in working order. One of the tires on the wheel barrow would not hold air so I had to drive the 45 miles into Espanola to get it fixed yesterday afternoon - good grief! That was after spending the morning moving gravel with a gimpy wheel barrow! No fun!!!) But I kept at it.

The first layer is down! YEA!!! Maybe Sunday I'll start installing foam. This is fun!

Here's a picture of the first load of gravel installed!







Done











And done.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

First Building Materials Delivered!

Yesterday, July 11, 2011 we took delivery of our first building materials - 2" rigid foam and re-bar for the foundation. What a thrill it was to see this huge stack of foam knowing it will soon make up our foundation! I have been spending a lot of time IN the trench (widening it and making sure it's straight) and I'm really looking forward to being on TOP of the trench.

Here's a picture of the delivery truck loaded with our materials.











Here's the materials just waiting . . .

There's a lot to do before then, though. Everyone says it feels like work on the foundation takes forever and I can believe it. We have to make sure we know what utilities will be coming in under the foundation and where they will be and have sleeves ready and trenches for them dug. We also need to know how we are going to brace the foam to keep it in place - one x twos cut will probably do the trick. I'm sure I'll have photos when we get there.

Also - do we order adobes now to have on site to use as bracing? Gotta figure out how many we need. Something else to do this week.

Today we're heading to Santa Fe to get 4" perforated drain pipe for the French drain that will go at the bottom of the rubble in the foundation to take any moisture out that may accumulate. I don't think the earth at the bottom of the trench has ever been moist but one never knows and after the floods we had last summer we decided to not take a chance. So the drain will go on top of a couple of inches of gravel and will be sloped to daylight at the lower corner of the site. The rest of the gravel will go on top of that with a grade beam to tie it all together. We're probably a few weeks away from that point, however.

Here's a picture from the road looking south.
In a few weeks I hope to start seeing a house arise . . . .

Rick leaves next week to go to California for his 50th(!) High School reunion so I will be doing a lot of this myself - one step at a time!

Stay tuned!