Tuesday, August 18, 2009

concrete pouring...

The foundation is in!

We had a concrete inspector come in and (luckily) he said the forms looked great.  So, two cement trucks later, and lots of shoveling, smoothing and trowelling with the help of my friend John and Carrie, the footer is complete.  In total 14 yards of concrete was used.  This is the only concrete we will be using in the house.  Photos to come soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Above Ground

Here is a short progress report on the straw house. I have run city water and the septic system up to the house under the rubble trench. I am pretty pleased, because the plumbing was one thing I thought I would have to hire a professional to do. One of our local plumbing companies here was nice enough to talk my plan over with me at their shop. I bought the pieces I needed then went home and installed it all myself. The water line was easy enough as well. With that done, I filled in the last wall of the foundation with rocks. A friend loaned me a tamper to pack all the rock down. Now for the last two days I've been building above ground! I started building the forms to pour my footer. Once the footer is done, I can start building the walls and it will start taking the shape of a house. Originally I was going to lay down earth bags of rock with a six inch concrete slab on top of them for my footer. After having a play with the rock bags I don't fully trust them to hold up my house. I know they have been used before, but I think I will go with a concrete footer. I still won't be using much concrete as I am not pouring a slab, I am going with earth floors on the inside of the house. Also to save on concrete in my footer, I am thinking of laying a ground layer of football sized rocks for the length of the walls, then pour the concrete over them. If anybody has a better idea on this please contact me soon. I am trying to minimize the use of concrete, but still have the house stand up. It's all coming along now. I am very excited to move away from shoveling earth and rocks to working with wood. We now have all the doors and windows needed for the house. I found a building recycle center close by, and got some sweet deals - happened to catch the center on a day they were offering 50% off their usual low prices. Four large double paned windows (that will go across the front of the house facing south) were $17.00 each. I can't see anything wrong with them. I got beautiful heavy french doors for $60.00. We also bought several pieces of furniture right across the lake from my Mothers antique shop. Needless to say, she gave us some good deals. I look forward to seeing the final cost for this house.