Well, where do we begin?
I guess we'll just say winter came. After a wonderful fall which we got a great start on things, winter came just a little too quick. Add to the mix a couple of bouts of pneumonia for both of us and a little OT at work dealing with the snow, and here we are in March. We did make a little progress before winter rolled in, and I finally posted a few pictures for you all to look at.
So, what all did we accomplish before all the snow? We got our footers dug, formed and poured. We decided to go with form-a-drain and pour concrete. Since we hit solid stone digging the foundation, I didn't want to set the foundation on a stone base because I didn't feel we would get it compacted enough. So, we opted for the form-a-drain since it incorporates the French drain right into the system and we can utilize it for a radon mitigation system. In the process of digging the footers, we got all our main drains dug to the woods line for the downspouts and French-drains.
Once the footers were cured, the builder came and set the foundation panels into place. He had a small mishap bringing the one panel to the site. Overall height of the walls will be a finished 10 foot and the one wall was about 42 foot in length. At a traffic signal, he took a corner too sharp and hit a post, busting a footer board and shearing a couple of his straps holding the wall on the trailer. But, all in all, that was pretty minor. All the remaining panels made it safe and sound, and they set them all in place without issues.
Our foundation wall system is pretty neat, it was designed by our builder. He utilizes a footer and header board out of pressure treated lumber treated for all sorts of good things like rot, fire and insects. The wall is then studded out like a traditional interior wall out of Timberstrand beams. Timeberstrand is a newer technology which is made for strength and durability. I believe it starts out as a bunch of wood chips about 10 inches thick which are then compressed down to about 2 inches. The chips are glued together with a fiberglass glue of some sort before they are compressed.
After the walls are studded out, the footer and outside wall is wrapped in quarter inch fiberglass sheeting. The wall cavities are then filled with foam installation. The system is built in the shop and then hauled out to the site. In a nutshell, that is the process, although I'm sure some of my "facts" aren't exact. We had some initial hesitation with the system, but I did a lot of research on the products and asked a lot of questions to the builder. We got king of excited because it will be a very energy efficient with a high R value, water proof and equivalently priced to traditional foundations. I've actually seen Mike Holmes on Holmes on Homes utilizing timber strand products in his projects, although I've never seen him utilize them in this type of application. I've posted a couple of picks of them being built in the shop and set into place. Sorry, some of the pics were taken on my blackberry, so they aren't the best.
After the foundation was set, they go the floor joists set and the subfloor on. About that time, winter arrived, and we haven't done anything since then! We covered the subfloor with plastic, and have hoped for the best over winter. I know it's gotten wet, but we are using Weyerhaeuser iLevel gold products, and they are made to get wet and still stay in a good workable form.
We've made many trips out to the property over the winter to see the snow. Of course, as I expected, it's all drifting in the driveway right outside the garage doors. I kind of expected that by the way we dug the drive into the earth. We are planning on planting a living snow fence of some pine and spruce trees and will probably do actual snow fence or a fast growing shrub until the trees get going.
From here, we plan on getting out to the site as soon as the weather allows. We plan on finishing the last piece of the driveway, get our floor drains in place in the basement and get the basement floor poured. Once the floor is down, we can get our garage doors on, get the foundation backfilled, and we might even be able to get a little grass growing once everything is graded. We hope to accomplish this in April and early May. The builder is heading to Maryland to stack some logs for a house in April and is going to come stack ours after that, hopefully in mid to late May.
I guess we'll see if the spring weather is going to cooperate and take it from there. Once we get rolling, we'll be sure to keep the blogs updated for everyone to keep track of our progress. Can't wait until it's all done and we can have everyone over to see our home. God bless and take care everyone!