Saturday, October 30, 2010

These two pictures, taken from the other side of the creek, show how the creek bank has been rebuilt. It's going to be pretty flood-proof now. The track hoe operator, who has grandkids of his own, is going to build us a nice path down to the creek, downstream, near where the Cabin 1 porch was.

There is also some nice access to several large pools upstream in the woods. The excavation for the basement/crawlspace uprooted a lot of huge boulders, which have been placed in strategic locations to fill holes in the bank.

We think it is going to look pretty good, particularly after a few years. Plus everyone is welcome to help build paths, firepits, etc!!

Meeting with the Builders

Worth stood on what will be the covered part of the deck to take this photo of Sadie. We love this view of the creek!

For this photo Worth was standing in the old driveway. It gives a pretty good idea of the distance of the house from the road. Not only will the pile of dirt under the track loader be used to fill around the house. We'll also have many loads of fine fill brought in from the gravel mine on the Cane River to even out the yard to about road level. Then the final foot or two will be topsoil which will be brought over from Burnsville. Finding a close source of cheap fill for the bulk of the leveling will be a big money saver! We met Keith, the track hoe operator. He's full of great ideas and has years of experience working on mountain homes. He'll be selecting some boulders to use to fill holes on the creek bank. Others he'll set aside for us to use in our landscaping.

Here Randy Banks and Edwin Crowder are discussing a question we had raised. We noticed that the opening between the kitchen and the great room had seemed smaller than we had envisioned. We asked if it could be opened up by using posts rather than walls to support the bonus room corner above. They talked it over and decided it won't be a problem. A compromise will be that the countertop between the kitchen and the great room will now be at two levels-- counter height on the kitchen side and bar height on the great room side. That allows for the electrical service to be in the back-splash.

The next step will be for the crawl space area to be filled with a few inches of gravel to even off the floor. First they'll remove any small boulders still inside. Not the large boulder in the middle though! As Edwin says, that one is connected to the world. The sonotubes next to it are actually drilled into it. Once the crawl space is leveled off, the floor joists will be put into place. Then they'll do the initial part of the back fill around the foundation. Workers were busy yesterday coating the outside of the foundation with a moisture sealant.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Finished foundation

Today we arrived at Cattail to see the finished foundation! How exciting to come around the final curve and see exactly where the new house will be! Did I take a picture of it? Uh, apparently not. Lots of pictures, but none to show you where the house sits on the lot. Tomorrow when we go back out there, we'll go up the hill across the road and take a photo to show the whole shebang. Today, we focused on a few details.

Notice how when they dug for the sonotubes that will support the edge of the deck, the earth and rocks were placed on the creek side of the ditch. This will really act as a buttress in case of high water. Here's both an upstream and downstream view showing the reinforced creek bank.

Another thing we noticed is that there's a huge pile of dirt and rocks at the downstream end of the foundation. All this is available to move up around the foundation once the septic system is complete. So while the foundation is very tall now, it will eventually be back-filled. The house will sit on a knoll above the creek and the road. But the upstream end should be graded fairly level so that we have only a step or two at most to enter the house from that end.

Here's a view across the finished foundation towards the Phillips' house. Notice the cutouts at regular intervals along the top. I'm guessing maybe glass bricks will go there? No, actually Randy says they're blow out vents in case there ever is flooding inside the crawl space. Inside the foundation you can see more sonotubes to support the central part of the house.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

We Have a Foundation!

We received photos today of the foundation in progress. How exciting to begin to understand exactly where the house is sitting on the creek bank!

The photo at the left is taken from upstream next to the road, looking downstream.

The photo to the left is taken from the old driveway entrance at the downstream end. Notice that the tree is gone from the corner.

This photo is taken from the downstream end of the foundation, looking through what will be a doorway into the crawl space. We'll be able to use this area to store yard tools, etc.

This view is from the downstream creek-side corner looking across the foundation up the road.

This is the creek-side of the foundation. You can see that holes have been dug closer to the bank for the sono-tube supports for the deck. You can still see the beautiful upstream view and I notice one ivy covered tree still helping to hold the bank.

The track hoe seems to have been busy!