Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 82: Gravel Time

Friday

We got our ground rough plumbing in and inspected last week. The next step after that is to get gravel in on top of the plumbing and graded flat to form a firm base for the concrete floors of the basement to go on. Our flatwork guy got his crew out on June 27 and they got the gravel in. It's nice to have a level floor in the house to walk on, albeit a gravel one.






Daily StatsHours Worked
Cost
DayTrevorFamily/FriendsContractors
Today82008
All Time829693338.5$13,496.75
Summary of 6/27/2014
Work Done Today
Rocked basement
Materials Used Today
Gravel, about 75 tons
Who Helped Today
Contractors On Site
Vanderford Construction

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Day 79: Backfilling

Tuesday

Today we continued backfilling the basement. We had both the Case Uniloader and the Bobcat working tonight. Steve ran the Case and worked on the area in front of the garage door. I worked the Bobcat and worked on the front of the house. We're driving over and over it as we go to pack it in. I think we'll have it finished in a few more good evenings like tonight. I'm sure it'd be a lot faster using a bigger machine, but we're having fun playing in the dirt.

Just a reminder of how much we needed to fill in...


I feel like we've made a lot of progress.






Daily StatsHours Worked
Cost
DayTrevorFamily/FriendsContractors
Today792.52.50
All Time798088320.5$13,496.75
Summary of 6/24/2014
Work Done Today
Backfill
Materials Used Today
Who Helped Today
Steve
Contractors On Site


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 73: Underground Plumbing

Wednesday

With the ground drying up, our next step was to get in the underground plumbing, also called ground rough plumbing or underslab plumbing. I took the day off from work to get it done. Fortunately, I also knew someone with plumbing experience that came up to help. It was the hottest day of the year so far, with temps in the mid-90's.

We laid out our plan, with me adding one additional bathroom to the basement "just in case" we want a second bathroom down there in the future. We then had to dig in some trenches for the pipes to lay in. With underground plumbing, you need at least one inch of "fall" for every 8 feet of run so that the pipes will empty. Since the house is fairly long, that meant we had to dig down quite a bit to get enough drop. Fortunately we were able to use the Bobcat for some of the work.

I also made a change to where our plumbing exited the house. When the plumbing lines go through the foundation, they pass through sleeves, or pieces of large pipe that are put in under or through the concrete before it is poured.

Unfortunately for me, when I changed where our plumbing exits the house, I picked a spot that did not have a sleeve. This meant I had to cut a spot out of our frost footing. It took about three hours with a concrete saw, jack hammer, and 12-lb sledge hammer, but eventually the opening was in and we were ready to go.



After the plumbing was done I was worn out. I headed up to Steve and Kim's house and took a quick break and ate a sandwich. Half way through the sandwich the neighbor came over concerned that one of our goats wasn't doing to well in the heat. Apparently the leash cable he had been wearing had caught around his neck and partially suffocated him. We hurried out and had to bring him back up to the house in our makeshift goat ambulance, with me in the back. Fortunately he has still breathing, so I didn't have to perform goat CPR.



Daily StatsHours Worked
Cost
DayTrevorFamily/FriendsContractors
Today7313014
All Time737085320.5$13,496.75
Summary of 6/18/2014
Work Done Today
Underground plumbing, backfilling of basement
Materials Used Today
PVC pipe, gravel, concrete saw, jackhammer
Who Helped Today
Contractors On Site
Bret Bowman

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Day 69: Foundation Water-proofed and Backfill Started

Saturday

The last three days were pretty tiring, and today was no different. But it's a good tired. It's nice to see progress. Today we finished cleaning off the footings, waterproofed, installed drain tile, placed gravel, and started to backfill the foundation. 

We'd spent the last few days cleaning mud off the footings, and had most of it done. When I arrived at the site this morning some more mud had crept onto the footings. I used the leave blower and propane torch to dry the remaining mud. Once the mud film was dry, I scraped it off with the hoe and swept it again with the broom. I then wire-brushed the walls of the foundation where mud had been flung or otherwise come in contact with the walls. I also wire-brushed the top of the footings. Emmy helped with this process. Then I used the leaf blower to blow all the dust out. Finally, the footings were ready. It was a good thing, too, since the waterproofing guys had shown up. Doesn't this footing look clean enough to eat off of?



The waterproofing we used is a spray-on, asphalt based material. The contractor had a pump mounted to a flatbed truck with a long house and a long arm. It took about one hour to spray the house. I had the honor of being this contractor's last waterproofed house, as he'd just sold his equipment to someone else (the guy standing watching).


Once the foundation was completely sprayed, it had to dry for a few hours. I spent this time mowing Steve and Kims property and along our driveway. Steve and I then returned to install the drain tile, along with the waterproofing contractor, who was to be our guide.

First, we placed a layer of fabric along the top of the footing. This fabric prevents "fines", or silt and mud, from getting into your drain tile. Then we installed 4" drain tile on top of the fabric. We used couplings and elbows to make the installation easier and more precise. Our contractor thought that the fabric under the drain tile was overkill, but I figured you only do it once, and it certainly couldn't hurt. I'd spent the last three days staring at mud along the footing, and I wasn't about to let any of it get in our drain tile.


With the fabric and drain tile installed, we then placed gravel on top of the drain tile and fabric. The gravel is "clean" or "washed" gravel, meaning it doesn't have dust or small particles in it. It serves as a filter and guide for any water that comes from above (draining down) or below (rising groundwater). The drain tile is perforated, so that it allows water to seep into it. It then drains it away from the foundation. The point is to keep water from building up along the foundation such that it creates enough pressure to push through the foundation in into or under the house.


Our contractor used a Bobcat to drop gravel on top of the drain tile and fabric along the east and west sides of the house. Normally, a foot of gravel is used, but we put in about two feet, to be on the safe side. 

We then turned our attention to the front of the house. This was a bit more challenging, since we had a log more space from our excavation (I slide the house back 7 feed after the hole was dug). We dropped gravel from above where we could. Here I am holding the drain tile in place with a 2x4 while gravel is "thrown" by the Bobcat.


When we had placed as much gravel as possible by "throwing", we then had to start part of the backfill to get the Bobcat close enough to place the rest of the gravel. He did this by digging into the edge of the excavation from the high side and pushing that dirt into the hole. He then repeated and pushed more and more dirt in, forming a ramp he could drive down.


We continued with this method, and the repeated the process above of installing fabric and drain tile before placing any gravel. 

While we were installing the backfill and drain tile, Kim and the kids kept busy by moving some boards left over from the form work. All part of keeping a job site clean. Mandy kept busy as well.


Our contractor stayed and placed the gravel on all but about 8 feet of our foundation. We left this area clear so I could install a sump drain. This drain was done by placing a "T" into the drain tile. We dug a hole under the footing and into the house, and then dug a hole inside the house for a sump pit. This was done by hand, and is much easier typed than done. That clay is hard digging. This was done at the end of the day, and I was pretty worn out. But it was fun because Reed helped. We each dug on one side and eventually broke through.


Once we broke through, Steve installed the "T" and ran a length of drain tile wrapped in the drain fabric through the hole. We then installed the fabric and gravel as above. It was a little precarious placing the gravel, since our ramp down was fairly steep. Steve did a good job of getting the gravel in there and not running into the house or tipping over. Once the gravel was in, Reed and I put on the fabric, and Steve did a few loads of dirt to start the backfill for this area. By this time it was dark and we called it a day.

Daily StatsHours Worked
Cost
DayTrevorFamily/FriendsContractors
Today698148
All Time695485306.5$13,496.75
Summary of 6/14/2014
Work Done Today
Prepped foundation for waterproofing, applied waterproofing, installed drain tile, gravel and fabric, started backfill
Materials Used Today
Drain tile and connectors, drain fabric, drain tile and fittings, dirt
Who Helped Today
Steve, Kim, Mandy, Reed, Emmy, Abby, Will
Contractors On Site
Vanderford Construction



Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 66-68: Prepping Foundation for Waterproofing

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday

It's been a long three days of working on the house. Wednesday through Friday I headed up there after work and worked until past dark. I'm getting a pretty good workout in each day.

One of the things left over after a basement is finished is form ties. These are metal pieces that protrude out of the concrete on each side about two inches. Their purpose is the hold the forms in place while curing. The need to be removed once the foundation is cured. This is done by whacking them a few good blows with a hammer. I got to where I could do it in one blow. The kids, Mandy, Steve and Kim all helped. This was one of the funner things we've done so far. All the kids could be involved, and there's something satisfying about hitting things with a hammer and making them break. It took us about 45 minute to do the whole house.






We had a lot of rain over last weekend and early this week. It filled up our basement and excavation with water and caused some of the walls of the excavation to cave in, depositing dirt (which turned to mud) on top of our footings. We had hoped to apply the waterproofing this week, but it needs to be applied to a clean, dry foundation, so we had to put it off a couple of days and spend those evenings cleaning up the footings.



The east and west sides of the house were the most buried. The east side had anywhere from six inches to one foot of mud on the footings. That doesn't sound like a lot until you have to haul it out. Since our house is in Clay County, the mud of course is clay mud, which tends to stick to the shovel, hoe, or whatever tool you're trying to use to get it out. I started out by shoveling it and flinging it up and out of the foundation (about 10' deep). This worked until I ran out of steam and the shovel was too heavy from being caked with mud. Then I hoed it out towards each end of the footing. This seamed to work the best. Steve, Kim, Mandy and the kids all helped at various points in the process.


The west side was also buried, but was much drier overall. Kim helped and got half of it cleared out for me. The other half was, instead of a soupy mud, more of the clumpy mud/dirt combo. I tried several methods to get it out, but eventually found that throwing the dirt clods and mud clumps out by hand was the most efficient. It took me about 2 hours worth of flinging to get it cleared out. Reminded me of the monkeys that fling poo. That was me.

Once I had most of the mud out I was left with a mud/water mess along the top of the footing. The footing needed to be dry and clean. I used the a leaf blower to blow out any standing water. Then I used a broom and a hoe to clear out most of the mud. There was still a film of mud left that just wouldn't dry out. So I hopped onto Amazon and ordered a 400,000 BTU propane torch. This torch sounded like a jet engine and was HOT. I used it to dry off the footings and it took about one hour and a tank of propane.



Daily StatsHours Worked
Cost
DayTrevorFamily/FriendsContractors
Today68380
All Time685485306.5$13,496.75
Summary of 6/13/2014
Work Done Today
Cleared mud off foundation, dried out using propane torch
Materials Used Today
400,000 BTU propane torch
Who Helped Today
Steve, Kim, Mandy, Reed, Emmy, Abby, Will
Contractors On Site

Friday, June 6, 2014

Day 61: Foundation Looking Better

Friday

The foundation's looking better and better. The forms, aka Easter Isle heads, were pulled out and removed from the site this morning. Now it looks like foundation for an actual house.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Day 60: Drying Out

Thursday

This past week we've had a lot of rain, enough to create some good size puddles in our basement excavation. Tonight I picked up a sump pump and decided to help speed up the drying time. I hooked up the hose and ran it along the foundation and out daylight.





We had a little earth come off our excavation and onto our footings. We'll need to get it cleaned off before waterproofing and installing drain tile.


I had some good help from the kids. We were all wearing muck boots, but the kids eventually ditched theirs in favor of bare feet (once out of the construction area). I also had some good help from my dad, who stopped by for the evening on his way to Branson. It was great to have him there.




Daily StatsHours Worked
Cost
DayTrevorFamily/FriendsContractors
Today60110
All Time603355298.5$13,496.75
Summary of 6/5/2014
Work Done Today
Pumped water out of excavation
Materials Used Today
Sump pump, hose
Who Helped Today
Kerry
Contractors On Site

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day 59: RAIN

Wednesday

Yesterday we got the basement walls poured, and just in time, as it poured rain Tuesday evening and Wednesday early morning. As Steve put it, we can check the swimming pool off the list as we now have one in our basement.


I was going to have some gravel delivered today for the basement underslab, but my gravel guy sent me this picture in a text. They got five inches at their house in Excelsior Springs, MO, about 10 miles from Kearney. It's a bit too wet and muddy to be bringing gravel trucks down our driveway at the moment. Steve's rain gauge "only" showed 1.4" from last night.



Our bridge that we installed last week did well, holding up to a flood of water that washed over the bridge.


Compare the water level to where it was last week.



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day 58: Basement Walls Poured

Tuesday

Early Tuesday morning, cement trucks were rolling into Beyeler Hollow.We now have the foundation poured, and just in time, as storms moved into the area Tuesday night bringing a lot of rain.

It was a big pour, compared to typical foundations. The suspended garage and safe rooms added a lot of walls that aren't part of a normal house. We're glad we have them, though, because you can't add them later.



We had our contractor add waterstop at the top of the walls above the suspended areas. It is a vertical rubber fin that connects the basement wall with the flat cement floor which will be added next. It provides a waterproof seal to prevent water from seeping into the basement from the crack between the slab and the basement wall.


Will was a good help, pounding in the rebar with a mallet he found at the site.


Daily StatsHours Worked
Cost
DayTrevorFamily/FriendsContractors
Today580216
All Time583254294.5$13,496.75
Summary of 6/3/2014
Work Done Today
Poured foundation, smoothed Driveway
Materials Used Today
Concrete, rebar, lumber, water stop
Who Helped Today
Steve
Contractors On Site
Remley Construction