Welcome to 2015… Hopefully, the year we get most of this earth sheltered home build done.
At the moment, things are pretty cold for building with concrete. There are ways to cure concrete in freezing cold weather, but the additives often reduce strength and/or corrode the reinforcement, so I am mostly working on planning. I have also pretty busy at work and got going again on my MBA, I am doing a business law class this semester. I go out any time the weather gets above freezing, but there were a couple weeks over New Year’s when I didn’t make it out to the site at all.
I guess my neighbors got a bit concerned about my seemingly lackadaisical approach to construction, so the neighborhood association wrote me a letter reminding me that I only have a year to get it done. They also reminded me that I have some legal liability if anyone (particularly children) get hurt on the site and asked me to fence it off. I wrote back that my mortgage company also wanted me done within a year, but has much bigger financial teeth than the association, so they don’t need to chase me about it. I also agreed that the construction fence was a good idea, at least from a legal perspective.
I went out to the site and just strapped some of that cheap orange construction fencing directly to the steel studs around the basement. More importantly, we took down the tempting scaffold tower so that we would be a less “attractive” nuisance to our neighbor’s children. I also put up a bunch of “Warning, Construction Site” signs. They are more for legal purposes than anything else.
Around about this time, I also started to bury my footings. I am sure that seems strange, so I put some fancy power point graphics into the video for a little extra explanation. The short story is that we need to fill in a couple hundred yards of dirt around the footings before we build the walls so we can use the skid steer instead of hand tools…
I had planned to bury the entire main level footing, and then hand excavate the top of the footing again so I could start bolting the steel to it ahead of the spring. But the ground is just too frozen to work with properly, so I am putting off that task until spring and have switched to focusing on tasks that can move forward, such as mounting the hardware for the basement stairs and central tower structure.
The video on those other tasks will come later, but here is the back fill video: