front elevation of plans

Saturday, May 28, 2011


The foundation is coming along nicely.

  We got word after the soils inspector came through Friday that, believe it or not, we need to remove another stump and more of the roots around the two boulders the the foundation is going up and over.   So once again his weekend will be spent hacking away.

I think we'll take a break from the stumps and roots and get at that pile of oak the rest of the afternoon. 

Hammer on! 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Water Pipes

All the stumps are out and just one last manzanita bush to cut down. The foundation has been going in since last Thursday.  We came across a bit of a hang up, the water pipe.  It goes through two of the piers that hold up the deck as well a the run of the foundation that goes along the existing house.
Tom, a plumber Dave knows came by today to have a look at it.  Tomorrow he will be back to fix the problem.  If all goes well we are hoping to have the foundation in by next week Wednesday.  This mean we'll be able to start building the Monday after.  Dave has given us our homework, we need to figure out the materials list for order.  This means everything we'll need to build this addition...WOW.  This is more of a learning experience than anything.  Thankfully Dave will give our order the once over and make sure we get what we really need.
Papi and Nana came by this evening to see how things are progressing.  Finn got a new 'tool' and just in time.  This weekend we are going to tackle the pile of oak to open up the lower yard for better access to building materials.

Hammer on!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hatchet Down

Shortly after finding out we needed to remove one more stump, we settled on a crew to do our foundation.  When marking out the foundation it was discovered that indeed another stump would need to be removed.  
Upon digging it out the one stump became two.
A few hours of chopping, chainsawing, digging, jackhammering, and just standing there staring at it we managed to remove the last of our stumps.

 Unfortunately there was a casualty, the hatchet that I bought as a boy met its demise.

I was so proud that after so many years this was the tool that was doing the lion's share of the work.  That makes four trees cut down and three stumps removed.  In the next couple of weeks the foundation will be set and we'll start framing the floor.  Our next task is to come up with a lumber order for the framing and sheeting for the main level.

Monday, May 9, 2011

We spent this weekend doing a lot of the same stuff we did last weekend.  A new stump to remove, more deck to pull off.  Because there was no log trunk on the new stump the chosen method for removal was chainsawing.  This meant the family bought its first chainsaw.
This is the stump before chainsaw.
This is the stump after.
We only need to clear the half that's farthest from the boulder.  The thinking is the rest of it can be taken out with a jackhammer when the foundation gets put in.  The deck is just about out which means we have a lot of 2X6 some of which will be used for forms of the foundation.  Bonnie thought of a much more fun use of the extra wood.

For the first time in a long time Bonnie will get to plant a garden before the middle of June, and not have to leave it before it's time to harvest.  As you can see by the clouds in the background, the plants weren't able to make it into the dirt as a drastic change in the weather happened.  About 2pm the clouds and cold came back and it was rumored to be 28 degrees at night. So, hopefully the garden will be planted by next weekend.  You never know whether to wear sunscreen or sweaters on any given day.
It sounds like we'll be starting the foundation in the next week so we need to get the rest of the deck out.  The part in front of the house that is still intact will stay.  We'll use that when we put in the new windows.  Keith offered to swing by today and put in some time removing the framing.  It's great having such kind neighbors.    

The next couple of weeks we won't be working on the house too much.  If anything gets done on it it will be the pros doing the foundation.  We hope to have it set by the time school is done so we can start construction right away.   

Also, Happy Mother's Day to all of our friends and family who are mothers.  That job is always a challenge and we hope that everyone took at least a few moments to honor those important people in our lives - we did :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

After having Brad take a look at where our foundation was going we discovered that another stump needs to come out.  Good news is we got in some good practice last weekend, bad news is that it is indeed just a stump, no 12' trunk to use as leverage.  The burl at the base is about 6' X 3' which is considerably smaller than the one we took out last weekend, so that too is working in our favor.
Before we got the news about removing stump number two the focus was on getting the deck down.  This has been our main outdoor hang out and entry to the yard for the past ten years so I'm having a hard time loosing all access to it, as you might be able to tell by the seemingly haphazard way we are taking it down.

Hammer on!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

More money out...

Today I stopped to pick up the approved plans from the Fire Dept.  Finn was impressed as he got to sit in the fire truck.  As I wrote out one more check, I can't help to think about how much money we have spent and still don't have much to show for it.  At least now there is a whole in the yard and 1/2 of a deck gone.  Todd has been taking out a few pieces each day.  Brad, a local contractor who will be helping with the foundation, came by today and surveyed the scene.  It seems that there is another trunk that might need to come out.  We have a plan for grinding it out which will involve some more demolition in order to get the machinery in.  Dave L.(the architect) thought we wouldn't need to deal with it but he is coming to double check tomorrow.  I am hoping that we won't have to remove the steps into the house quite so soon.  It will be a drag to have to carry the groceries over all the terrain for the whole summer.  We'll see how it all plays out.  If nothing else, it will be one more form of "functional fitness" for our summer months.

Monday, May 2, 2011

First Victory

I am sure this will be the first of many small victories but we need to relish this one.  After 2 days of digging with a pick ax, regular ax, shovel, hammer, any general digging and chopping implement you can think of... our tree trunk came down.  We really didn't think it was ever going to budge but once Keith came over with his chain saw, we saw some movement and boy, were we happy.  Still this morning, I have a hard time making a fist and I had a difficult time sleeping because my forearms ached.  But the sense of accomplishment is a great feeling. Todd had his first injury but is doing fine.  The "come-along" we were using to put tension on the trunk slipped and hit him in the side of the head.  Luckily he is fine but he had a nice little goose egg for the afternoon and a small scrap behind his ear.  After all of his mountain bike injuries, I don't think he is afraid of a little scar here or there.  Here is a pictorial of our fun:
This is what it looked like when we started.
These were the weapons of choice to free our job site of this tree.
We got this far after about 25 hours of digging.
Then thankfully Keith and his chainsaw hit the scene.
...a little more effort from Finn...
Keith came over this morning and we finished it off.