Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Cement Trucks are coming!

Today we are getting the footers poured for our house. I thought the kids would remember more about the building process if they wrote down what they saw, so I gave each kiddo a book to draw (or write) what they saw today. 
They had fun, although Nikki got bored quickly and started drawing whatever she wanted on several pages.

Tommy also followed Kyle and Stephen around, doing his very best to help them prepare the footers for cement.  Stephen would trim the roots, and Tommy would gather them up and toss them out, as well as gather up any rocks that had fallen down in the trimming process. 

He was very proud of his job. 

The french drain and electrical drain (for our geothermal) got laid next. 

The girls got bored and went back inside. Tommy got bored too, so he started climbing dirt piles and sliding down. 

He tried to entice me to join him, but I wasn't brave enough. While he was having fun playing on the dirt, the Building Inspector came to inspect the footers. She said we needed to have the electrical inspector tell us how to install the ground rod and he would probably need a picture of it, but that the footers looked good, so she passed the first inspection. Yay! I called up the inspector, and he told Clint how he wanted the ground rod installed. 

Good thing we called, because the inspector wanted the long end along the rebar instead of the short end, so we got it fixed and looking all right. 

Finally, the first cement truck pulled up. Tommy was thrilled!
He was jumping up and down with excitement. Unfortunately, there was a little extra excitement as the truck pulled up - one of the workers had stopped for a potty break when the cement truck rolled past and bumped the port-a-john. The bump must have been pretty hard because it knocked his shoulder out of joint for a little bit, but he was able to pop it back in place.  Thankfully, after all that drama, nothing else happened and he's ok. 

We called the girls out to watch the cement truck start pouring the footer. 
I love how my girls love each other!

They started pouring along the upper garage side of the house. 

The cement here is a thicker consistency so it doesn't spread as far against the forms. 

It was neat being close enough to see the cement come out, but boy, those trucks are scary!
Clint hopped in his front end loader, and they added cement to his bucket to fill in some of the areas that were more difficult for the cement truck to reach. 

Once all the steps had been filled with the thicker cement, Clint had the driver thin out the cement and they were ready to pour the real footers.

They still filled up the bucket for one end of the footer, but it went surprisingly fast.  

Buddy had fun hanging out and watching all the action too. 

In about a half hours time, they had poured our master closet footer and part of the front of the house. 


We had to leave to finish painting our old house, so we didn't get to finish watching them pouring the cement.  It was a lot of fun seeing them start it though. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. 

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rebar is in the house!

The footers have been dug!

I went with my boys out early in the morning to check them out, since it was way to late and dark when we got home last night. 
I think our floor plan looks a little bit like a mashed up Texas - hopefully once it's built it won't feel as large as Texas! :)


Later in the day, Clint and Kyle came and finished digging the footers for the garage. 
Once the footer was finished, They began working on laying down the rebar and setting up forms for the steps in the footer. 
Tomorrow they are pouring concrete. Can't wait!
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Chalky Blueprints and a Happy Birthday

Clint and Kyle finished digging out the basement Monday, but I was too busy to be able to stop by and see any of the work until Tuesday. They put down the chalk lines for where the wall will be poured. I made sure to run out early in the morning to get some great pictures with the sunrise. We're going to have an awesome view someday!

It was fun walking around in the early morning. I could hear the nearby cows mooing excitedly for their breakfast. They sounded really close, even though they aren't close at all. One of the perks of living on the hill with no trees - you can even hear whispers! Be careful what you say around here! :)

We talked with Builder Mike about more details of the house - like when the footers would be dug (Thursday if no rain - but there is rain in the forecast). We also got to talking about the front porch being poured concrete, and Clint suggested we might want to extend our basement underneath the concrete porch to create a storm shelter of sorts. 

In looking further into that idea, we realized it wouldn't really be much more concrete and would give us a shelter on the chance we ever get hit by another horrible tornado again. So we agreed to that change in plans. 
Tuesday also happened to be Tommy's 7th birthday. Can't believe how fast he is growing up!

We had a play date with his friends Evan and Natalie to celebrate. 
The girls had fun playing dress-up while the boys played legos. 
Tommy is really into Mario, so we had Mario-themed mini cupcakes
and then opened the present from his friends. 
We had Tommy's official celebration when Daddy got home Tuesday evening. 
Tommy couldn't wait to play with the Mario figure on top of the cake. 
Nikki started getting a fever, so we quickly moved onto presents so she could enjoy them too. 
Nikki got Tommy racing Mario and Luigi cars.
He had a Luigi car earlier this summer, but it broke, so he was SUPER excited to get another one PLUS a Mario car as well. 

Becky couldn't wait for Tommy to open the present she had gotten for him. 
Yoshi! She kept asking me all day long when it would be time for Tommy to open her present to him. I think she may have been wanting to play with it too? :)

Tommy also got a game for his DS and some Legos from his Grammie and Grandpa. 

Tommy ended his birthday day of fun watching Planet 51 with Daddy and Becky.  
Nikki and I rushed out the door after presents so I could take her to PM pediatrics and make certain her fever wasn't related to her burned toes on Saturday Night. Thankfully it's just a cold - but its good to make certain!

Hope the rain stays away so we can get some footers in this week! :)

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Breaking Ground on our Dream Home

It's been a long summer, but we have finally broken ground on our Dream Home.

We chose the Peekskill plan by Don Gardner.

We're making a couple of modifications, but this is the plan we fell in love with and now our house is going to be taking shape soon.

It's so exciting to watch them dig in the dirt! Clint and Kyle showed up around 11 and took a preliminary look around the site, marking their lines clearly and talking about what needed to be done. Of course, Tommy instantly joined in, trying to see how he could help.

Finally they were ready to start moving the machines, so Clint offered to take Tommy on the first ride around. Nikki was just a little bit jealous and walked away pouting. 

However, she quickly got over her disappointment about not getting to ride in the dozer once she discovered a rock to play with. Silly girl. 

Tommy went with Clint to scrape the top soil off the house site so it could be saved and re-used once we are done building. 

Becky also entertained herself by finding her favorite "Puzzle" - a rock that I found earlier this summer that was split into pieces that I put back together. She loves coming to take it apart and put it back together. 
Finally it was time to start the actual breaking of ground, so Tommy hopped off the dozer and we all moved out of the way to watch them dig the first hole. 
On your mark...
Get set...
Kyle skirted the chalk lines so they could back-fill behind our poured cement walls, so didn't stay exactly within the lines! A few minutes later, he had a nice sized hole dug for us. 
As he kept digging, he eventually hit a large rock. Tommy was sure they wouldn't be able to get it dug out because it was so big. 
He kept watching and suddenly, the rock popped out of it's hole!
Kyle used the "thumb" part of the machine to hold the rock and lift it out of the ground and toss it out of the way. 
Once the hole was deep enough to get our basement walls to a poured height of 10 feet (I believe that's 2 feet above ground too), Clint hopped back into the dozer to push dirt towards the front end loader. 
We went inside for lunch at this point and came back out a few hours later to see what had been accomplished. The hole in the ground was much larger, and Clint had begun laying out the road that will take us to our house. 
View of the road from the other side. 

Becky's legs had started hurting again (growing pains), so she stayed inside. Tommy and Nikki had fun climbing on the dirt pile, trying to see a better view of the hole that had been dug. 

We were impressed with how large that hole had become! The red dirt below is clay and great for digging footers into because it's so hard. 

The soil closest to the white chalk line here is pretty wet and spongy, so Clint told us the footers will have to be deeper here. We may also need to put a french drain on the inside of the footers as well to keep the foundation from sweating. I'm hoping it's not that bad, but we'll see!

Buddy even ran over to check things out, and keep everyone in line. Good puppy!

When Clint and Kyle were almost finished for the day, Clint finally took Nikki on the dozer for a ride. 

She hung on tight and loved every minute of it. 

 In fact, she loved it so much, she pretended to fall asleep so she could stay longer in the dozer. 

Apparently, that's not the first time Clint's had a kid pretend to fall asleep, because she was soon "awake" and giggling again. 

It was finally time for the boys to head home for the day, so Tommy helped Kyle pack up for the day. 
Next week is supposed to have some good weather, so we should see them again Monday. 

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