Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Framing Starts

The little guy and I watched this past week in between appointments and errands as the framing began.  Here's pictures that span from Wednesday through Friday...




Monday, April 19, 2010

Foundation Done

There was a whole flurry of activity this past week.  Essentially the entire foundation is now done.  After the little garage was demolished, they dug a huge hole in the backyard.  Then the foundation guys came and poured the .... "footers" I think (not 100% sure on the terminology!).  Then after those were dry, they came back and poured the foundation walls.  Crazy how fast those went up.

Here they are bringing in the forms for the foundation with the truck that had this CRAZY big crane:

And here they are setting everything up:

And of course, here is the concrete being poured (I have this in video, but I'll spare you - it's like watching paint dry):

When everything was broken down and dry, the filling up of the hole began!
Dumping Dirt into the foundation:

Jim actually took a couple of days off of work so that he could watch the foundation being put in, but the guys were so fast, it was already done before he was off. But I think he enjoyed walking around and checking things out as they were happening anyway. Here he is chatting with Mike Z, the general contractor:

But we cannot forget the water and electricity lines out to the garage!  To do that, they had to dig a trench from our house foundation.  The only weird thing is that there is a sort of 2-story gabeled bump out on the driveway side of the house.  It seems to be newer than the rest of the house, and doesn't seem to actually have a foundation itself.  The basement doesn't go out with it, and when we have looked at the "foundation wall" below it, it seems to just be bricks (which are actually loose) and hollow to the porch.  A little scary.  But I prefer to not think about it too hard.   Anyway, they were digging the trench to that part of the house...  I think they ended up getting the electric and water lines from the original basement-ed part of the house right next to it -- not really sure how that worked out - I wasn't paying enough attention.   As you can see from the video below, we ended up a little bit trapped inside the house!  We've never actually had a key for the front door (previous owner never gave us one), so it was a little bit tricky for a day or two until it got covered back up.

Digging the trench:

We are having them re-grade our lawn as part of this project.  We knew there was a slope and some bumps in it, but apparently it was 2 feet lower in the back.  And even with that giant hole and filling it back up, to get things all even, they still had to bring in FIVE truckloads of dirt!  That's right! - five truckloads!  Seems like a lot to me...  And here is a video of the dump truck (again - for the little guy that will be sad he missed out!)
Bringing in more dirt:

And the only casualty of this work is my little garden gnome - you might not be able to see him, but the sunbleached guy is in the center of this picture.  Now he is somewhere underneath the ground.

So foundation is complete, electric inspection is done, and I believe that the framing will start this week!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Demo Day

Well, yesterday was the big day.  The little garage was demolished. 
When I replaced the shingles and siding, luckily I only did the front.  Some might say I was lazy, but I like to think I had foresight to know it would have been futile.

And here is Oscar enjoying his last romp in the open expanse of our backyard.

It's always a little amazing how much faster a contractor with the right tools is...

He just pushed the dumpster in through the garage door and went at it with the back hoe.  Here's a couple of videos capturing the event:

The start of the demo:

And dumping the north side wall:

These were captured mainly for Jim, who couldn't be home from work this morning...  but also for Morty, who will one day be sad he wasn't old enough to care at the time!  What little boy doesn't love a front loader and a backhoe?

Here's Oscar checking the whole thing out from inside the house.  Abbey was a bit more sheepish and stayed in the background.  Although she barked the loudest through the day.

After all the garage was down, the digging commenced.  Now there is a giant hole in our backyard.  And what yard didn't get digged up, pretty much is piled up with dirt.  So the dogs now only have a teeny tiny space to do their business.

The contractor pulled out a few bottles from his digging.  Jim and I went later last night to check the bottles out.  It didn't look like there was anything particularly special, but we looked further at the location on the back right side of the hole.  It looked like it must have been a fire hole, because it was blacker, sootier dirt than the rest of the dirt, and there was a lot of random garbage in there - like pieces of a bedframe and the bottom of a tiolet and some other unidentifiable stuff.  Nice.