Sunday, June 16, 2013

Out of the ground!

We finally got done with foundation work on Thursday, so Friday and today were spent on joists. I was so happy to get out of that hole and done with concrete work. Carpentry work is so much better.

Here's the joist structure nearly finished already. It always goes faster when you get done with the foundation.

Walking around on top of the new joists is fun for me after three weeks in the hole. It's nice to be up high and working with wood, instead of down low and working with mud. I'm reminded of the elevator operator in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

In other buildings I've built, I've used slabs, rubble trenches, wooden (cedar -- resists rot) or concrete piers, or just big rocks placed on or in the ground -- just about anything to avoid spending days and thousands of dollars in a hole in the ground. If I'd known how much ledge was in this hole, I think I would have done something different here too, although I'm not sure what considering the bedrock slopes way too much for a slab -- the shape of the ledge, soil conditions and slope were all set up in just such a way that the weight of a building on a slab in that spot would have been just asking for a landslip. 

But the concrete work is done now, it won't violate the expectations of the mortgage bank or insurers, and we managed to use less concrete than is normally used for what is essentially a 650 square foot bungalow, about a sixth. 

Concrete is bad for the climate. Here, we were able to save using hand work and the bedrock itself. And it wasn't expensive. We used 300 x 60 pound bags -- they were on sale for $1.99 at Home Depot, and about 250 blocks at an average price of about $1.40 each. With the price of the tractor work and a few sundries, this particular hole "only" cost us $2,000.

In other news, Aime has been nursing a sick wee chickie. This particular animal had some kind of paralysis or weak legs. She couldn't walk for a few days there, but is getting better now. Aimee kept her in a tub in the bathroom, where the cats and dogs couldn't get at her.


She seemed happy enough, considering, peeping quietly to herself in her tub. When Aimee took her out for some sun, parking her in a small cage on the lawn, she was less happy, because she could see the other chicks in the chicken tractor, but couldn't get at them.

I have to go take a short teacher training workshop now for work. I'll get back to the construction job on Wednesday. The subfloor decking should arrive early next week, and after that we'll be framing up the walls. 

This build will proceed quickly from here on out, now we're out of the ground.

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