Monday, March 24, 2008

Construction Begins

We sold the house in August of 2007 in hopes to start building our new home soon after. Well, its March and we've just broke ground a couple weeks ago. It's a LOOONG process.

We had to get the lot surveyed and put the lot in our name and get our plans put together. It took a pretty long time to get our budget for the construction together. We had to get bids from all the subcontractors together to help figure out the budget. Keep in mind this is our first time building and contracting a house construction. So, we had alot of learning to do along the way. Then, we had to apply for the building permit. The more I learn about government regulations, the more I get aggravated with the whole deal. Just imagine, the USA is BY FAR, the best country to live in so it's hard to complain. But, its still CRAZY.

We also had to choose a bank to do this financing. We were very particular with what we wanted. We wanted a 15 year fixed interest rate, one time closing for construction and final loan. Most of all, we wanted a good rate. We got a list of 5 banks and had to provide bunches of paperwork just for the pre application work. After that, some banks started dropping out for one reason or another. Some didn't do one time closing for construction and final mortgage, some didn't return phone calls in timely manner, made it easy for us. Then it was down to 2 banks and one could meet some of the things the other bank did. So, one left standing. Sort of worked itself out. 

We were ready to break ground. We were originally above flood plain, but wanted to bring in some dirt anyway. So, we had the pad built up. They had to do moisture test and compaction test. 

Then, we had to put up batter boards. These help you keep your forms level and at the right dimensions and also square. Very important.

After running the string from the batter boards, you start putting up your form boards. Easy concept, hard work! You have to drive a stake every couple feet for support. Concrete is VERY HEAVY and if you don't stake the board right, your foundation will be wavy.

Here are the tools of the trade. Mind you, I've been working at a chemical plant for the last 10 years. It's been a little while since this body has seen hard labor in an outside condition. Me and father in law did Saturday and Sunday of 7am to 5pm to get all the foundation forms up. He's 62 and he worked CIRCLES around me. He's amazing. 

Then, we had to drive more stakes and put in kicker boards for more support. So, we had to swing the mall DOZENS of times to provide support stakes for the stakes that were supporting the 2X12 form boards.

Then, we had the plumber come in and "rough in" the plumbing that will go beneath the concrete. We had no electric under the foundation. 

Then, we had diggers come in to dig footings. Footings are deep and wide trenches that usually go under load bearing walls that are filled with rebar and concrete to provide maximum support for your frame.
BTW: In the picture above, the construction in the background is the new Bluff Road Elementary School in Geismar. So, if you're on Bluff Road about 1 mile from Hwy. 74 and see a bunch of construction where a cow pasture used to be, you're real close to our house to be.

I'm sure I've butchered spelling for some of these construction terms and even used wrong terms. But, its real fun to learn all this stuff.

We're hoping to finish the footings tomorrow and have the post tension installed and concrete poured by the end of this week or early next week.

Brandi is working on getting the interior stuff all together. She's having fun with that too. We've picked out the flooring and design of our cabinets. Glen, Brandi's dad, is doing the cabinets, he's also the one I helped with the forms. He's only been doing carpentry work for 30+ years, but we went with him anyway.

We'll give more updates later, I'm sure. Its gonna be fun. 

They came today 3/26/08 and laid cable and rebar for the post tension slab.

After the footings were dug, we had to have pest control come spray the foundation and then we put down the plastic sheeting for moisture barrier. Then it was ready for the post tension people to lay cable and rebar.

We have to construct "floating forms" and get the forms inspected. Then, we'll be ready to pour the concrete.


At 6:41 PM, Blogger AdoptedAsHisOwn said...



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