Week 13 – Rain Delay

It has been a rainy spring, and we’ve had multiple thunderstorms since my last post. The site is finally mostly dry and there should be a crew coming back out today to continue work. Here is a shot from the upper terrace. You can still see areas of water.

Most of the trenches for the foundation beams also still have 6-8 inches of water in them.

Starting on Sunday, there are rain chances every day on next week which will, in all likelihood, delay the foundation further. It is times like this when looking at a rending of the site helps you accept the weather challenges and know that it will all be worth the wait.

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Week 12 – Backfill Complete

I met our architect and builder over lunch on site to discuss progress and next steps.

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The site looks much larger now that all the piles of dirt have been cleared away and the ground leveled.

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The biggest item is getting all the retaining walls completely backfilled with dirt.

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From the upper terrace, the dirt is now level with the top of the walls.

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It is also amazing how much space there is on top now that the dirt has been filled in and a good portion of the brush removed. It is also very sunny and has a completely different feel from the lower wooded portion of the lot. This will make a great area for both edible and flowering plants that just won’t work in the shaded portion of the property. I’ll also have a great place for a few beehives.

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Rain is in the forecast for the next week or so, but next steps are starting the remaining excavation work for the house foundation and start forming it up.

Week 12 – Backfill beginning

The work has begun on moving the dirt back behind the retaining walls. The trench has been filled in and the dirt moved into one central pile.

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A dirt ramp was also constructed to get to the upper terrace. This picture is the top of the ramp looking down.img_1306

The dirt is about halfway up the wall. They also cleared out a lot of the bamboo and brush on the upper terrace to allow the bobcat access to dump in the dirt.

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The next week should consist of backfilling the rest of the wall and then starting the excavation work to start building out the house foundation form.

Week 10 – Walls are finished!

Lots of progress since I went by on Sunday. We now have all the retaining walls poured. The walls around the storage shed slab are complete.

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The north wall is also poured and connected to the wall on the west side.

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I honestly wasn’t expecting these to get done so quickly but I’m not complaining. Next steps will most likely be backfilling behind the walls on the west side of the property and then starting excavating for the house foundation.

Week 10 – Continued progress on retaining walls

It is a gorgeous day in Austin so I swung by early to see if the forms had been removed after the walls were poured on Thursday. Sure enough, we now have a nice concrete wall.

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In addition to that, the north wall forms appear to be completed.

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They have also started the walls around the storage shed.

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Here is a video showing the progress on the back side of the lot.

Week 9 – Concrete poured in retaining walls

We’ve made some progress with the retaining walls and storage area foundation.

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Here is a close-up of the storage area slab.

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It appears that the wall on the north side of the property did not get poured, but it at least is formed up.

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Here is a shot of the steel inside.

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While it would have been nice to get the north wall poured as well, the west wall and the storage shed slab were the main gating factors for getting the foundation of the house started. Any progress is good progress and I’m glad this was done as rain is in the forecast for the next few days.

Week 8 – Even more retaining wall steel

Today I met our architect and the concrete contractor to discuss the retaining walls on the site. Our site presented some interesting challenges with the retaining walls so our architect wanted to meet with the contractor to understand how these challengers were met.

The steel work is mostly done on the west most wall and is waiting inspection before the wall is enclosed for the concrete pour.

Here is a shot of all the steel in the west wall.

The space behind the wall will be filled back in with dirt once the concrete is poured and cured. All the giant piles of giant on the site will be put back so we don’t have to bring in any special fill material.

Another angle showing the length of the wall.

This is a shot of the north retaining wall that shares a side with the neighboring lot. Since the owners of the lot next door was not willing to allow our equipment on the other side to essentially setup the same type of form as the west retaining wall, a different solution was needed to setup the form for this wall. A water proof material will also be applied to this wall to allow water from the other lot flow down the back of the wall and down the slope.

They also have a lot of the materials on site for the foundation pour. These are the void forms that will be used for the foundation itself.

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It was an excellent meeting, and I was very impressed at the level of detail our concrete contractor went into. While rain is in the forecast next Monday through Wednesday, if it is not a complete washout, they are planning on pouring the walls and the foundation for the storage unit next to the west retaining wall next Thursday April 13th. Once the walls are down, the foundation itself should proceed quickly as the walls and site access were the main challenges.