Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 1 - Digging the Basement

Though it did rain a little last night and the sun was having a hard time shining this morning and our newly created driveway turned into a soupy mess, digging started as planned.  Jay met our builder, Mr.W, earlier this morning and the excavator arrived around 8am.  By 8:30 he had already started digging the hole.  Since I was busy making supper for later in the day and getting lunch ready plus making sure the sheets got into the washer, we only arrived on site at 10.  AJ was so concerned that they would be done before we got there.  I kept assuring him it took a long time to dig a basement.  For the better part of the day, we just watched this guy at work.

Slowly the hole got larger and larger.

Every once in a while Jay would check for level with the laser level.

And though they ran off and played or sat and colored, the kids always seemed to make their way back to watch the machine at work.

Mr. Bergen really is a talented man driving that machine.  That hole was smooth and level and he made it look so easy!

One final check and the hole is done!

After the digging of the basement, the excavator also removed the stumps of those very large poplar trees we cut down earlier.  It was a whole lot simpler to get the excavator to do it then to try doing it ourselves.  All of those stumps are now gone!

While the excavator was at work, we got a few things ready around the site.  We unloaded the stakes needed for the footing and lumber for the forms.  Jay asked if I would build a construction ladder to be used to get in and out of the hole.  I was honored he would ask me to do that and so I spent a little time building a very simple ladder.  It really is the very first thing ever built for our new home (not that it will actually be a part of the house) and I told the boys that when the house is finished, they could have the ladder.

Then because there was still so much day left, Jay and Mr. W set straight to work figuring out where to make the footings.  All the exact measurements needed good mathematics skills (that's why no one asked me to do that part!) so Mr. W pulled out his construction calculator and spent some time figuring it all out.  When the stakes had been pounded, the string run around and the measuring tape pulled out to measure for square, shouts of "Woo Hoo" is all we needed to know that the measurements were what they needed to be!

Through it all, the kids were not too far away, always watching!

The kids always wanted to help whenever they could so we allowed them to do what was appropriate for them.  Yes, I realize they are barefoot and should be wearing shoes but those shoes were weighed down with about 10lbs of clay and were nearly impossible to walk in.  Rubber boots will be at the site from now on.

That brought us to the end of Mr. W's day but we were still eager to work and it wasn't nearly suppertime yet.  So, he asked us to pound in all the rest of the stakes.  I told him I wanted to do some so he showed me how to do it.  I ended up doing all the stakes (about 40) while Jay worked to clean up the mucky driveway and went to get more supplies.

While Jay was away and I was building muscle, what were the kids up to?  Well, it has been said that dirt piles make great babysitters and since we have 3 monstrous piles, the hours of fun are unending.  As is the laundry!

At the end of the day, this is what we are left with. 

This is what it looked like yesterday.

Pretty good progress for one day, wouldn't you say?

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