Basement Walls Poured

Tina and I have been out of town in Cleveland for my heart valve replacement surgery. So, we’ve had to send my sister and Barb to go take pics of the progress and send them over to us. The concrete walls have been poured and forms have been removed. Here’s a few pics and a video walk around of the basement in its current state.

Footings Poured

An early afternoon drive-by didn’t show much activity at the site, so we figured it would be a day or two before the concrete truck got out there. We decided to celebrate Gavin’s birthday today since Barb was off of work. After we filled up on sushi and ice-cream we decided to check again, just to make sure we didn’t miss anything. To our surprise, there was fresh concrete poured that was still in the process of setting. Hopefully the basement pad and wall forms go up soon!

Prepping for Footings

Its been a slow couple of days week, with no updates. Tina and I have been continuing to stalk the property multiple times a day only to be saddened by the lack of new equipment and progress. However, yesterday they finally started digging the trenches to pour the concrete footings. Looking forward to driving by and seeing a concrete truck at the lot.

Drainage Easement and Temporary Driveway

We have been enthusiastically making a habit of stopping by the site on lunch and again in the evening to check on the progress of the build. I’m sure after a few months of this, the excitement will wear off. Until it does, expect lots of pictures, videos, and updates!

Today, the grading company laid the stone for the temporary driveway (apparently that’s code here). Unfortunately, they cut our neighbor’s Charter cable and phone line in the process. The cable box is currently 20-25 feet into our front yard from the west facing property line, and complicating the placement of our driveway. We had a quick chat with them to discuss the storm drain easement work and to propose having the utility box moved right to the property line between our houses (this neighbor is the only one in the cul-de-sac that uses this cable box for service).

We were relieved to hear the owner of the grading company had gone over prior to speak with the neighbors too. He had prepared them in advance for the work that was going to be done at the back portion of their property, within the 20 ft. easement. They seemed happy someone was finally doing something about it, and explained how they had tried calling the county about it in the past, but no one ever got back to them. We didn’t let them in on the fact that we had to call the county several times before we could finally speak to an engineer ourselves, and request the original drawings be sent.

At the end of the day, the excavation crew completed a lot of work! Here are some pictures of the storm drain easement being rerouted, straight back towards the lake, and the rip rap being placed.

This video is a compilation of all the work that was done today.  We stopped by the site twice. By the end of the day, the temporary driveway had been laid and the drainage easement was complete.

Basement Excavation Begins

After a day of no work being completed on the site (and us visiting the lot twice that day to rubber-neck), we were exited to see this big hole in the ground when we stopped by again this evening.

At first glance, it appeared the basement was excavated 10-15 feet further forward than we had plotted out; however, after talking to our new home consultant, she verified with the construction supervisor that it was not.

We also inquired about the pile of stone that was delivered. We wanted to verify if it was for the drainage easement we were having brought up to county code. Apparently this material is smaller than the rip rap and will be used to create a temporary driveway for the construction crew.

After talking to the grader directly, we confirmed the drainage easement work will be begin later this week.  We can’t wait to stop back and see the progress! For now, here is a video of the basement excavation work that has been completed.

Tree Removal Complete

The grading company has been busy! They even worked today, a Saturday. The neighbor says he spoke to the grader and they plan to do basement excavation and footings next week. We are so excited to see things starting to come together.

Grading Continues

We decided to take another trip to the site today to see how the tree clearing and grading process is coming along.  The neighbors couldn’t believe how much work had been accomplished in such a short period of time. It’s fun to chat with and hear stories from the “originals” of the development.  So far we have met some really great people, can’t wait to move in and do life with them.

Tree Clearing has Begun!

We met with the builder and grader to discuss the start of the project on Tuesday. We’ve had some concerns about a storm drain on the edge of the property and wanted to make sure it got the proper attention. Previously, the builder had told us that we needed to involve the county to get permission, but we kind of picked up on the fact that they seemed timid on even touching it.

After a few phone calls to the county land development office, I managed to speak with someone who sent us the original engineering drawings for water runoff. We provided the builder with the information and hoped they had everything they needed to make sure it got done right.

During the meeting with the grader, the builder informed us they would not touch or warranty the grading of that back corner, and that we needed to work directly with the grader to correct it. The grader assured us that he would make it right, bringing it up to county standards; however, the rip-rap rock required is like buying gold. We gave him the OK, as the current storm drain doesn’t slow the water much and is ripping a valley through the back corner of the lot. I’d have to say that water drainage is probably our top concern during this build process. We are praying it gets done right and we can have some peace of mind about it.

As we walked around the property with the builder and grader one last time, they were commenting on how it was the perfect lot for a walk out basement. Hearing them talk about it and pointing out where things would be really got us excited for seeing the finished house. I don’t think any of our mental visualizations will do it justice.

Builder says they’ll be starting lot prep next week!

Update: We got antsy and decided to drop by the lot today and it looks like the grader is already beginning the tree clearing (blog post title updated). We managed to snap some pictures and videos. They are attached below.

Taming the Jungle

We closed on our construction loan May 16th, and it occurred to us: we might want to start clearing out the underbrush and brambles in the back portion of the lot before construction begins (Derek keeps asking me why I didn’t think to suggest doing this back in the winter months when it wasn’t 90 degrees, HAH). We have spent a total of about 12 hours at the lot this week. The goal is to finish before the grading starts. That way we can hopefully get the excavation company to take the yard waste, along with the trees they clear, off the property.

I hope the rain holds out! It’s been raining on and off for the last week. The forecast is predicting more thunderstorms for the next two weeks, and it looks like we have a good 20+ more hours of work to go.