Taking Shape…

The slow but deliberate building process continues… over the last several weeks, we’ve watched as the different pieces of the house building puzzle get sequenced and fit together. The previous post in this series ended with the completion of the foundation footers. Since then, the forms for the foundation/basement walls were placed and the walls were poured. After that, exterior waterproofing was applied and a French drain system was installed around the exterior base of the wall.

Once the drainage system was installed, soil was backfilled against the walls and the rest of the homesite was graded. Since the soil at our site contains a significant amount of clay, it has a large shrink-swell capacity. This can present problems when the soil is either saturated or dry. When wet, the predominate clay expands with the absorbed water and can cause extra pressure against the underground walls. Conversely, when dry, the soil shrinks. So to avoid the shrink-swell expansion and contraction that can lead to cracks in the concrete, we had to have “non-native” soil trucked in for the fill against the basement walls. This non-native soil creates a buffer that is designed to absorb the natural shrink-swell of the native soil, thereby preventing damage to the foundation.

With the foundation firmly established, it was time to do some work on the interior (the future basement). Before the basement floor could be poured, the plumber installed the “rough-in” plumbing… essentially the components of the water supply and drainage system that exist under the basement floor. There was some delay caused by periodic heavy rainstorms which made our future basement look like a muddy swimming pool, but once things dried out, gravel was spread and a vapor barrier installed across the expanse of the basement. A few days later, the concrete pump truck supported by several concrete mixer trucks arrived onsite to pour the basement floor.

Now that the foundation is complete, the framing should begin in earnest over the next several weeks. Soon, we hope to see the physical structure that we’ve been imagining all these months! Exciting times ahead!…

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