Thursday, July 21, 2011

Buliding Forms

The next step was to build the the forms for the footings. We started by placing the Batter Boards, streching stringlines and squaring it all up.

Once we had our corners marked and the footing height esstablished we went to building the forms. Three of the walls of the house will be burmed 6' however the front will be like a walkout so we had to build a step footing. The books say that you should have a max step of 2' but hey lets live life on the edge (my step is 61"). We had some extra challenge working down in the pit because the bottom was hardpan and it was not possible to drive stakes. So we ended up just burming the forms to keep them in possition. We got the forms built but the burming did not hold the forms well and I don't recomend doing it this way.

Levi screwing together the lower portion of the step form.

After we stacked and burmed all the footings we started to place the re bar.

The re bar seen sticking up is what will tie the dry stacked walls to the footing.

By adding two pieces of #5 re bar it raises the strength of the concrete from 12,000 lb. per sq. foot to 64,000 lb. per sq. foot.

Trace made this jig to place the re bar so that it would line up with the cores of the block (it worked every one lined up).

The First Delivery

It was exciting to get the first delivery of supplies. It meant that we would soon be actually building something and not just digging and playing in the mud. The first delivery consisted of 300 bags of premixed cement and 27 20' sticks of #5 (5/8) re bar. I ordered the materials through Menards and they delivered it on a single axle truck.

 I asked the driver when he arrived if there was some sort of mistake. "I have no way to unload you" I told him. He said not to worry and asked where I wanted the pallets. The plan was to place them on the road then Vern was going to fork the pallets with his Bobcat and take them to the building site. The ground here in May is just simply to wet to support a tired vehicle with any large amount of weight (Each pallet weighed about 3,000 lb). The driver dropped the trailer and pulled into the approach and began unloading the load. When I first saw this truck/ forklift I though "You have to be kidding", but I was amazed at how well it worked.

It's like a Transformer. Strange but it seems to work!

Next Vern took the pallets through the ditch and up the hill to the building site.

Arron and Cody watch as Vern picks up the first pallet. If it had not been for the tracks on the Bobcat it would not have made it to the site.
It was a successful plan, all the materials got to the site and no one got stuck. It is a good day!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Pumping pits?

When Vern was digging the frost footing trench we came to what should have been the end of the trench, but Vern kept digging and it looked as though he was digging to deep so I stopped him to see what was going on. He replied that he was digging a pump pit for the water that was sure to come. At the time I agreed it was a good idea however I severely under estimated how good an idea this was. Within one day both pits were full and in need of pumping. This water was just what was running out of the trench walls not from any rain.

 So again underestimating how much water there would be I dug up a bilge pump I had in the garage and a 12 volt battery and headed to the land to pump water. After 3 long hours of pumping and the 1st pit was still not empty I came to the bright conclusion that this was simply not going to work. I needed something bigger. So defeated I went home and searched to find a gas pump. What I found was a 22cc pump that was said to be barley used and in new condition for $100.

 The box for the pump claimed it could pump 1,950 gallons per hour and that sounded good to me. I took it to the land and started pumping and let me tell you that little pump works great. It was a good thing I decided to go with a bigger pump because the next day the rain came.

Thanks to the pits and the new pump all went well (but very muddy)