Saturday, July 3, 2010

CMR Update July 03

Another week and lots of movement at the old homestead. Of course, the architect and the GC have installed their large signs so that we can afford them some free advertising. This "free" would apply to them alone - since we are paying them ginormous sums of money for the privilege of putting their signs on a nice prominent corner. Aren't we generous?

A wider view of the whole site showing the beams, the signs, the overgrown mound of ivy which threatens to overtake both beans and sign, a dumpster, a big pile of gravel by the garage doors and the required porta-potty. Using a porta potty on a daily basis simply has to be one of the worst parts of being a construction worker. I have to use one occasionally at George the Younger's bball games. Never pleasant.

George the Elder, holding our newest decision-on-the-table (e.g. concrete color for the basement floor) tries to determine whether or not the temporary siding would actually be marginally effective at keeping trouble-seekers out of the basement.

A view in the mammoth pit from the side of the house where there is still an opening. I guess if someone really wanted to get and play around, the opportunity is available. However, since kids are not left to their own devices in exploring the neighborhood any longer - that rules out about 90% of humans would might be curious enough to squeeze through this portal. Still, it does look like a haven of dirt, tools and things to explore. We live on a corner where lots of middle schoolers walk past every day while school is in session. I am grateful that the attractive nuisance is happening over the summer. Me thinks that this may have been a issue should this part have happened during the school year.

The back wall of the basement will be poured in a A/B/A/B method. This means that they will waterproof and pour alternate sections without having the remove the existing foundation wall behind it. After the A part is poured and sets, the rebar from A is then connected to the new portion of B. So, "A" is on the left of the picture and the big square of existing dirt will be "B". Takes longer, we lose a little bit of space that we had planned on - - but it is infinitely cheaper (using the "home remodel" scale of cheaper which is like the difference between buying an Aston Martin and a Bugatti) than having to remove the existing foundation on that wall.

Another view of the prep for our first concrete pour that will happen next week. Here you can see the wall and the floor. Cool beans.
This is a close up of the nifty waterproofing that will make our new basement as snug as a bug - no matter what the weather. The black dimply stuff sets up against the outside dirt and creates hundreds of little rivulets for the water the flow down through. It is thick and tough heavy plastic sheeting. The whitish paper that goes next is a solid - unless water hits it. Then, it becomes a snot-like viscous material. The theory is that the black stuff will keep all the water out - but if for some reason it is nicked hard enough for a hole to be created, the whitish stuff magically turns to snot and self-heals the nick. Water-proofing in the 21st century!

The king of the castle surveys his house resting on the steel beams. I think he also secretly wants to sit on the little blue back hoe.

A view from the garage doors in to the space. It continues to boggle the mind that all that space was just there for the taking. O.K., it was there for the taking for the person who thought it was a keen idea to set the house up on some steel beams and dig it out. That'd be us.

Things are currently on schedule and I had my first official meeting with the architect and the GC on Wednesday. It was during the meeting that I was educated on the attributes of the selected water-proofing. They used bigger construction vernacular of course - but then they dumbed it down for me and used the word "snot" to describe the viscosity of the material. I entirely understood that part. And I thanked them for bringing it down to my level.

We are also mostly on budget with the exception of now having to make a decision about what to do with the front porch, which either needs to be removed and rebuilt (as it was before or with new materials that we select) or have it stay there and implement the A/B pour scenario on this part of the front wall. There are pros and cons to both - all requiring a cash outlay (go figure) - so George the Elder and I need to sit down and noodle that one out. It's a drop in the bucket compared to the overall expense of this little project - but everyone knows that a beach is made up a thousand grains of sand.


TNgrammy said...

This continues to be just amazing. The amount of space is hard to believe. Who would have thought waterproofing is almost like something from the" Jetsons".

2W3 said...

I think an excellent way of offsetting the cost would be to set up a ticket booth outside and charge people to come in and see each stage of construction. You could make labels with explanations, like the museums, and would-be remodelers could have a hands on understanding of what to expect. I mean, the waterproofing explanation alone is worth a couple hundred bucks!

Stephanie said...

This would have made an excellent tv show if you would have simply planned ahead... House Hunters, Dream House 2010(or 2011 as the case may be), The Money Pit II, Clean Sweep, Hoarders: Buried Alive, Property Virgins, followed by Trading Spaces, and finally Addicted.

Molly D said...

Im thinking real housewives of San Francisco...