Friday, April 27, 2012

The glass is half __________

If only Jim knew how to blog, he would be able to give better updates than I do.  As hard as I try, sometimes I end up being the "glass half empty" person and I focus on the fact that we are 3 months behind schedule and I miss all the little signs of progress.  For awhile, I was beginning to think that I needed to title a post:  "They know how to build houses in SEATTLE" because every time it rained nothing would get done for a week while we waited for everything to dry out.. just in time for it to rain again.  I tend to want to micromanage things and so it was all I could do to keep quiet.  I hope our builder appreciates the silence.  (While I was screaming in my head.)  

Here's a chronicle of the last few weeks: 

Robert checking out the heavy equipment. Thankfully there were no keys onboard.  People who don't do this for a living shouldn't mess around...  (When we built our house in Virginia someone started up the backhoe and couldn't figure out how to turn it off.)

This is all of the underground plumbing.  Someday I might want to look back and see where it all began.  Or maybe not....

Here is is all covered up and ready for the rebar and concrete,
as of April 26, 2012
After the recent tornadoes in the area, some people have asked if we are putting in a tornado shelter.  Well, this is our storage area below ground level, which is accessed through the garage.  So, I guess we have a tornado shelter by default and these photos from a few miles away make me very glad that we decided to put in the extra storage.
yes, that is a semi truck flying through the air.

This is the sewer line that runs all the way across the property
This shows the buried sewer line and how green everything is after all the rain


More mud.  This is where the first concrete has to be poured, and that can't be done until it is dry.
Once it finally did dry out, this is how they prepared the foundation.  
After 2 weeks of waiting...

Yes!  We finally have concrete!  I never thought a piece of cement could make me so happy.  It's the little things, right?  This was poured on April 26, 2012.

Three's the charm... it took 3 tries to get our stone selection right.  We're going with the one in the middle.  Not sure about brick colors yet.
 So that's the progress.  It should take about 2 more weeks to get the foundation finished and then the walls can start going up.  The forecast is for dry weather and less screaming in my head!  All around me will appreciate that.

Monday, April 2, 2012

What can be accomplished with a little good weather?

A couple of days after I last posted (complaining) we went to the property and the forms for the foundation had appeared:

We were so relieved that we were actually started on THE HOUSE.  Well, that was enough to open the heavens and we just had the 9th wettest March on record!  3 inches of rain in one week and 5 inches in one day the next week.  Progress barely creeped along.

muddy foundation
Critters creeped around...
Raccoon tracks in the mud.  Right through the kitchen, no less.

Our resident hawk ate dinner on the front lawn.

The outhouse house was built...

Well at least it adds some privacy from the front!
And we waited.  And wondered why on earth couldn't someone do some actual work!!!  Well, it turns out that rain is a lovely thing unless you are trying to drive a 35 ton cement truck onto mud.  Yes, I looked it up.  That is how much a fully loaded  cement truck weighs.  And, since we brought in truckload after truckload of dirt... we now had lots and lots of mud.

Thankfully, we have had a nice dry spell over the last 11 to 12 days and progress has been made.  I never thought I would be so glad to see a cement truck but my heart actually made a little leap the day I drove up and saw this:

And this is what they had done:  

Drilled and filled 72 18 inch wide, 10-12 feet deep piers.  Messed up the nice flat foundation, but what do I know?  According to the builder, they hit water 10 feet down (what a surprise) and so they had to do some "extra engineering that cost them an extra couple thousand dollars" so the foundation would be totally stable.  We are grateful that they did the right thing!

The next tasks:  digging out the storage room that will be accessed off the garage and laying all the underground plumbing and electrical pipes:

Please notice the glorious sunshine!
This is what happens when a backhoe digs through the buried electric line.
No, it can't be fixed with electrical tape.

That is a really looooong sewer line.  
Trying to figure out which pipes are which is a bit of a puzzle, but this looks
like the powder room and guest bathroom downstairs.

And bringing.... MORE DIRT.  Every newly dug swimming pool in North Texas is contributing to our building project!  

We usually spend some time walking around the property every day.  It is now knee deep in grass and weeds wherever there isn't dirt.  Susie loves to come and explore with us:

She's really not too much of an outdoor girl... other than
almost daily walks around the neighborhood sidewalks.
So going to the property and being a "farm dog" is quite
exciting for her and she is usually exhausted afterwards.
And no leash!  
it is hard to remember how far we've come.  So in remembrance:

Here's the little old house as it looked last summer and the way the same location looks today.  When all that dirt gets smoothed out it will make a great riding area or more pasture.  The builder thinks we might actually finish up the house in late September or early October.  Here's to a few months of good weather!