ffj's early retirement

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ffj
Posts: 2079
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Quick update. Finished all of the digging and even had time to dig up old concrete encased fence posts which had rotted off. Very tired after two 10 hour days digging dirt. Rain comes back tonight. :(

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Riggerjack
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Riggerjack »

Are you not installing a foundation drain? Digging a path to daylight makes rain and footings compatible. Gotta do that here, or we would have to wait for August to pour footings... Besides, avoiding humidity in a crawlspace is always a good idea.

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@rigger

Oh yeah, after the stem walls are up was my plan. I didn't want to complicate the concrete pour with drainage ditches as the concrete truck is going to have to maneuver around the site. Hopefully the rain doesn't make me rue my decision, but I have access to a trash pump if it gets too bad. Or I cut in the drainage.

rube
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Location: Europe (NL)

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by rube »

Are you going to pour the concrete straight in?
I am used to see something like on this picture over here, to keep the rebar in place, isolation and I guess limit the amount of concrete.
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Good luck with the building, I am following it with great interest!

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@rube

What you are showing above are forms for a poured concrete stem wall, which was an option I could have gone with, but the bid was $25,000 more than what I anticipate spending. It's a great wall system, but I can achieve the same structural strength through block walls. It is uglier however, and more porous, but the block will be covered in a stone veneer and the foundation wall will be waterproofed. And as rigger has inquired about, fully drained to evacuate any standing water.

Basically the trench is the form for the footings. It wastes some concrete due to unevenness of the side walls but it saves one from having to create forms with wood and stakes. That's a lot of work and material. Now upon the poured footing, which will be 10' by 24', I'll have the block layers build the wall.

Tomorrow we plan on installing the rebar after it dries up a little and hopefully we can pour on Friday. I'll have pictures which should clarify everything.







On an unrelated note, I am going to consider my experiment with the spent fruiting blocks on straw as a success. If the corona virus hits my part of the world, I think I can grow enough mushrooms to feed us into perpetuity. Haha


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ertyu
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ertyu »

These are some beautiful professional grade mushrooms. Mushrooms to be proud of. Congrats.

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@ertyu

Thanks. I picked them the same day and gave them away. I'm just happy my experiment worked. ;)






Put the rebar in yesterday and today I set the grade stakes, which are the vertical pins. The concrete will be flush with the tops of these as they are all perfectly level with one another even though the ground is uneven. These rotary laser levels are pretty cool with what they allow you to accomplish.

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Tomorrow will be the concrete pour!

henrik
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Location: EE

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by henrik »

Nice work!
24 inches seems quite shallow - does the ground not freeze deeper than that where you are? Or is the whole structure meant to rise with the frost heave? Common wisdom here is that you either build on the surface or start supporting at least 1.5m (60 in) below.

bigato
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by bigato »

That’s very smart, thanks for sharing!

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@henrik

We are in Zone 6, and according to the county code that I have to follow, the bottom of the footings have to be at least 24 inches below grade at the lowest point of the footprint. Which means that a lot of the foundation is deeper but at the shallowest it is at least 24 inches. The further North one lives, the deeper you have to dig to avoid upheavals. I assume it is much colder in Estonia? A lot of people will go to a pier system if they have to go fairly deep.

@bigato

My pleasure. I hope others can learn from my experience.





Yesterday I worked in the sun in 56 degree F weather and life was good. Today I woke up to snow falling from the sky with heavy winds. It was about 27 degrees F with the wind chill today but by God we got the concrete poured. :) Not only did we get both foundations poured, but it turned out really well without any complications.

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Here is a step-up we made to save material and digging. I have never done this before and was quite pleased it worked as well as it did.

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I am very pleased this phase of the building is done. Even though I paid my friend to do the work, I have worked very hard beside him getting this done, and I finally feel like I am building a house now. Very satisfying.


For those of you curious what I have paid strictly for the finished footings, here is a breakdown:

$450.00 for the excavation of the building site, mainly removing the topsoil and leveling the ground

$540.00 for rebar and the misc. stuff to put it in place such as wire and chairs

$2,500 for the rental of the excavator, excavation of the footings, placing of rebar, and pouring of concrete which I paid my friend to complete.

$4,432 for the concrete @ $110/yard for 37 yards total

$7,922 for the total


This is higher than what I expected, but still within reason. One of the things I didn't anticipate was having to pay tax on the concrete. I just assumed the price per yard was tax included. It's not. The other factors which increased the price was the unavailability of a concrete provider closer to my building site. The trucks I used came from another county as the provider in my county had all of their trucks commandeered by a store being built. Thus a higher price per yard due to the distance traveled. And finally the weather which necessitated the use of hot water due to the cold, which also increased the price per yard of concrete.

But the increase was within a 30% margin which is typical for any calculated price. Quite normal really.

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Ego
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by Ego »

Nice! I can image that would feel incredibly satisfying.

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@Ego

Thanks man. It is certainly a milestone, I have officially crossed the threshold from preparing to build to actually building. It's a nice feeling.




Yesterdays harvest of oysters and Kings. I made a friend very happy yesterday with this latest haul.

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And look at these beauties:

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These are chestnut mushrooms and I'll probably pick them tomorrow. I have no idea how they taste but they are described as "nuttier". I am officially up to four types of "successful" mushroom growing with this latest accomplishment. I still consider myself as a lucky amateur but I am thankfully getting better although I have had some massive failures, haha. I'm looking at you, Lion's mane and enoki.

I think if I could build a grow chamber say 8' by 14' and I could with absolute precision control the variables: light, humidity, temp, rotational space, and air exchange I could do even better but I have to ask myself if it is worth the money and space. I really want to do it just to become better at the game but I don't know. Maybe a Farmer's Market success might prompt me.

ffj
Posts: 2079
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Spring is just around a corner, and I for one am ready for it. Apparently the previous owner planted a harbinger in what will be our new front yard, and it is nice to see.

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One of the pleasant observations I've realized since buying the new property is that I have a lot of nice and generous neighbors. I have one in particular who is older but still loves to get out and visit and he's pretty funny too. A month ago he offered to plow up a garden spot for me and the other day he delivered on that promise, completely unprompted by me. That's a good neighbor.

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Today was a good day on the house build. After delivering the block a couple of days ago, the block layers I hired actually showed up. Let me back up. Three days ago, I called him about laying my block. He came out, looked at the job, gave me an estimate and told me how much material I needed. And today, after I procured the block and mortar and sand, he showed up at 0730 in the morning with a crew of eight guys and laid almost a thousand block. I am almost speechless after having to deal with so many people who have promised so much and not delivered.

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The crew quit just before the rain hit today and they may be back tomorrow if it isn't too wet. They still have to lay the garage but if it's flooded then I'll have to wait a few days. I'm very happy with the job and the progress.

I wasn't idle today though. I finished setting the posts on a 100 foot section of new fencing while those guys worked. The neighbor on that side of me has agreed to pay half of the cost of a fence as it benefits both of us, and it's a project that I will chip away at when I can't work on the house. I just have 500 more feet to go. :shock:

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It looks pretty dull after that block work, doesn't it? :D

ffj
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

Just ranting and now I've deleted it. Apologies.

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

This post is dedicated to Riggerjack. ;) If you'll remember he asked about drainage around the foundation and I replied that I was waiting until the block was laid. I was taking a bit of a gamble and now I've lost that bet to Mother Nature.

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What a mess. I spent 4 hours pumping out the water yesterday and cleaning up the caved in walls with a shovel. It started raining about two hours after the block layers left on Thursday and apparently that night it really came down hard. And then it rained all day Saturday. :x


Now all of this could have been avoided if a multitude of things had or hadn't happened. My biggest obstacle is not always having the machinery I need on site at all times, and it is something that I have to consider as it costs a fair amount of money to rent these devices. The other huge issue is having to rely on others to perform their work which NEVER coincides with what is convenient for myself or the weather. Many times I can't move forward until someone else has done their part, at least not efficiently.

Anyway, my next move is to let it dry out, then scrape the mud off of the concrete and hopefully get these guys out here again soon to finish the job. In the meantime, I'll start digging drainage lines and procuring the rock and materials for the drain field. I'm also going to be digging lines for other utilities while I have the machinery.

Good times.

chenda
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by chenda »

You've got yourself a nice lap pool there 😀

jacob
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by jacob »

Or a race track for RC boats!

EMJ
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by EMJ »

It's a moat, just add crocodiles.

ffj
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 3:16 am

Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by ffj »

@chenda, jacob, EMJ

Haha, it's humorous now but the other night when I was cleaning this mess up I wasn't seeing the positives. I need two things to happen: the rain to stop (just for a few days) and my block layers to show up and finish the job. I need one day for those two requirements to coincide. ;)

On a more positive note, I scored a major cost savings for the garage/shop.

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I bought all of the windows, and probably a couple of extra, from a window company for $50/window. These are all brand new windows manufactured in 2019 that were mis-measured for a job they were doing and they couldn't use. They all match in style and size as far as height, with a couple of different widths that I can work around with the design. The beauty of designing your own buildings is that you can change minor details on a whim.

So the moral of the story here is that some days you are knee deep in mud and other days you save over a thousand dollars. It all evens out. :)

davtheram12
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Re: ffj's early retirement

Post by davtheram12 »

Great score on those windows! $50 bucks a pop is an insanely great deal. This progress is exciting. Any updates on the barn cats?

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