Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Yep - it's been a week but things have happened

Sorry followers, it's been a busy week and my mind hasn't been into blogging when I get home from the site every day!  This past week we had the HVAC guys in working on the rough-in for the Geothermal system, the framers worked on the deck (finally) and we had the masons put the garage wall foundations in.  With the help of several great friends (and a rented track loader) we built a large portion of our retaining wall.  Today we had torrential downpours and tornado warnings due to Lee's remnants which turned the site into a veritable river.  The electricians slogged through the rain and worked today finishing the rough-in for the basement and started the main floor.  Still have some work to do on framing that will prevent a fair amount of work but the framing crew should be on site tomorrow to work that.

 It was a good sight to see the water all flowing across in front of the garage - about 30' from the house, into the silt fence along the West side of the site, and down into the "intermittent creek" which today really looked like "River Forks" which is the name of the nearby road.

HVAC Ducts at the ready to be installed

More ducting - this duct makes up the hard runs that go along the East/West runs supplying the rooms on the either side.

Here's the flexiduct at the ready

More HVAC stuff waiting to be installed.  Most of this was installed  by Friday.
The masons working on the footer walls for the garage on Thursday - 3 courses of block on top of the poured footings and then they parged it so it looks very much like the finish on the house.  We'll paint the exposed part with the same elastomeric paint we use on the house.
The long awaited deck roof in process as of Saturday - there are concrete lugs on the house that will hold the ledger board for the deck.  A steel rod/turnbuckle/plate assembly will tie the two 6x6 posts together for the flying roof.

This is some of the material for the wall - a total of 18 pallets of block with 2 additional partial pallets of cap blocks.  Each pallet holds 40 blocks weighing about 65 pounds each.  This was taken on Sunday last week.

This is the wall at the end of my work day on Wednesday.  I originally built it up with a square corner but once we reached about 4 blocks high the "bond" (where the blocks overlap) had changed enough that there was a gap forming and I didn't want to cut too many blocks.  I tore it down and rebuilt it with this 6' radius curve.  At this point all work was done by hand.

This is the progress we made on Thursday after 1/2 day using a rented Bobcat skid-steer (which actually was a wheeled bobcat) for the gravel and dirt backfill.  We used the plywood to slide the fill into the right place and not have to manhandle it much after that.  

A view from the end on Thursday - there's still a lot to get done.

Your's truly setting block - once the block is set there are two glass reinforced plastic pins that interlock it with the blocks below.  The bond is the overlap between the blocks, in this case a 1/2 bond.

No, this isn't a staged shot, I did actually move dirt, gravel, and some block around with that bobcat.  Indeed it's fun but it really did expedite the work.  On Monday I alsomoved the crush-and-run around inside the garage walls as the initial rains from Lee were falling.  Plan was to have the tamper here on Tuesday to compact it but the rain made that impossible.  

This is the wall as of Tuesday Morning.  My brother-in-law Jesse helped on Saturday and Sunday (and yes, he did get to play with the Bobcat!). Jack came back on Labor Day to expertly run the bobcat and help wrestle blocks into place in preparation for the pending arrival of Lee.  About noon it started raining so we called it a good day and left the wall like this - you can see this is the "after-Lee" condition which is remarkable dry.  If you look closely at the wall that part on top that looks "loose" is actually the cap blocks Jack and I moved there as the rain started on Labor Day.

This is our "intermittent creek" that turned into a raging torrent this morning - it's actually two creeks that meet and flow into the Rocky River from our property.

This shows a bit of the water flowing across the front of the house East-to-West.  Grading guys got it just right on this one.  We still had water at the house but that was coming off the roof and it continued to settle the backfill.

That brown streak in front of the silt fence is the water running off the lot - to the right of this the water actually crested the silt fence due to the massive amount of rain coming down quickly.

This is a view from the back window looking at the water flowing down to the creek - the two silt fences did their job in large part but again, so much rain was falling the water actually climbed over the lower fence at this point.

This in interesting view - the water to the right is coming from Jack's property and it is clear.  The water straight ahead is coming from another property behind our house.  The two meet at this point and flow out to the left in this picture.  This picture is later in the day during one of our sunny spells.

I have to add a sincere thanks to both Jack, Jesse and Kevin for their help in building this wall.  I'm pretty sure that without their help I'd still be looking at a whole bunch of pallets of block wondering how I was going to make it all happen.  Renting that Bobcat was a great thing - we got it Thursday after lunch and they picked it up Tuesday morning.  We only paid for 1 1/2 days of rental but used it for the weekend and we moved yards of earth and about 1 1/2 loads of '78' gravel.  All in all we cleared 14 pallets of standard block and 2 of cap block.  I think that means something over 35,000 pounds of block got moved due to great friends and their invaluable help.  Jack's construction experience came in handy on a number of occasions as well!

Oh yeah, the raccoon was back in his comfy and dry house this weekend.  During clean-up this weekend Dee found the rascal sleeping comfortable behind the burlap hung to stay dry in the basement. We took that burlap down and today he was nowhere to be found so we think maybe he left on his on volition.  

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