Thursday, January 29, 2009

Slab Pour

Today was the big day. The slab was poured and now we can start preparing for the walls. I guess I am always looking forward to what's next.

Ryan has woken up to be at 6am slab pours many times. I, on the other hand, have never joined him. I always said I would one day but I think it was always going to take some extra motivation to get me up and going for that.

It was COLD this morning... 25 degree's cold at our new house. We arrived a little after 6 and the crews were there, just waiting for the concrete. We think the trucks got a little lost but they finally made it. The waiting crew built a fire that I greatly appreciated once they got to work! Before 7am the concrete was flowing from the pumper and the action began.

It was interesting to watch these guys work.  Everyone had their job.  One guy guided the pumper hose around the form, telling the pump operator where to go, when to stop pumping, etc.  Other guys distributed the concrete around evenly while some others came behind to start smoothing it out.  At first glance it seemed really disorganized but in the end, it was apparent that they knew what they were doing!

Fire and the first concrete coming in.

Starting to smooth out the garage and a view of the pumper as the sun was coming up

3rd phase of smoothing in the garage; utility room (with pipes)/downstairs guest bed/bath

Starting on the Kitchen/Great Room and then pretty much all done with pouring.

Ryan says we should be ready for framing to start mid next week.  There are some clean up steps over the next few days -- the form boards are taken down and some grading around the slab.  We might have some downtime before the framer can get to our house but hopefully not more than a week.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ready for Concrete!

Everything is ready for the slab pour on Thursday. 

The top grid of steel is complete.  Electrical floor plugs are prepped.
"Float" of dropped areas such as garages, porches, showers, etc are ready.

Ryan explained the "floats" to me today.  They come in and box around the places where the slab is lower.  Then the concrete is poured to the top of the wood on the outside and the bottom of the wood on the inside.  

If you click on the image below, you can see better the outline of the front porch.  This is really my favorite part of the front elevation.  Growing up in "The South" I always wanted a big porch.  With all the houses on our street facing the central pond, this porch was not a hard sell to my "not as in love with front porches" husband.  It's not that the he doesn't like them, just not as high on his list of wants!
And last but not least, the sewer hookup was installed... very important.

Monday, January 26, 2009

And the winner is...

Me! Okay, this post is LONG overdue. Back in, um, November, I won a Bake-off at work. (I mentioned this around Christmas when Mom sent me the cute baker's ornament.) We have these bake-off's every now and then because there are several people in the team that really like to bake. If only I could get paid to bake!  I would like to brag that I beat Erica, but, she was not satisfied with the quality of her baked good and chose not to enter.  So I won, but I still haven't beat Erica!

I asked for some suggestions for a dessert to bake on a local message board and Kelley gave me this wonderful recipe. It was a big hit at work and at home. I had to make a second batch for work because so many people wanted to try it. And the best part, it was SO EASY!

Sopapilla Cheesecake

2 cans of Pillsbury Crescent Roll Recipe Creations (or the regular rolls)
2-8 oz. blocks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
½ stick butter or margarine (melted)
Cinnamon/sugar mixture (I mixed some up in an empty spice jar for easy sprinkling, 1/2 sugar, 1/2 cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray
Unroll one can Crescent Rolls in pan
With a mixer, mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth
Spread cheesecake mixture over Crescent Roll in pan
Unroll second can of Cresent Rolls on top
Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly brown
Remove from oven and spread melted butter on top
Sprinkle LOTS cinnamon/sugar mixture on top. You want it to really cover the top, soaking in all the butter. I used about 1/2 of a medium spice jar. Kelley said 1/2 a cereal bowl!
Put back in oven for 5 minutes
Cool completely on the counter then put in the refrigerator to firm it up then cut into squares
Keep refrigerated or on ice if possible, but it’s ok for a while on the counter.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


The foundation is really coming along. Ryan, Admiral and I took a trip out to the lot today and found that a lot of progress had been made since yesterday afternoon. The guys were about half way done with all the steel. They should have it all wrapped up by Monday afternoon. Everything is right on track for Thursday's pour.

This was Admiral's first time out since we actually bought the lot. He got to see his new backyard and even left his mark on the fire hydrant across the street.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Underground Plumbing and Digging Beams

The past two days have been busy at the house.  

Yesterday, the plumbers laid all the pipes for the underground plumbing.  Today, the slab guys came out and started digging the beams for the slab.  

I have learned bits and pieces during Ryan's 6+ years of building houses but I guess I'll really learn it all now that I am paying more attention.  

This part, I did know.  When they do a slab, it's not just concrete on top of the ground.  They dig these trenches called "beams" into the ground almost like a grid shaped base to the slab.  So, when the concreate is poured in, it fills the trenches and makes a nice, secure foundation that won't slip and slide.  If the house is really big or the ground isn't just right, sometimes they have to dig "piers" that go down much deeper than the beams.  The piers are bell shaped under the ground and provide even more support.  This is more expensive and luckily our house did not need it.

So, the beams should be finished sometime tomorrow.  The guys were over half way through.  Can I just say, this is probably on the top of my list for jobs I would not want to do.  They dig with regular ole shovels.  No fancy automatic equipment.  I was tired just watching them. 

I added the last picture of all the steel that was delivered today.  That will be the next step.  Slab pour is scheduled for Thursday morning!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Slab Form and Dirt

Over the past two days, the form to the slab was set and dirt was brought in. Looking good!

Hard at work!

View from our front porch out to the pond. We are really excited to see how the house sits on the lot and to know that, when the underbrush is cleared, we will have a good view of the pond!

Bringing in the dirt!!!

More to come!

Monday, January 19, 2009

House Construction Underway!

There is always "the question" at different phases of your life.  

Senior in High School: "Where are you going to college?"
During College: "What's your major?"
Senior Year of College/Grad School: "Do you have a job?"
Serious Relationship: "Is he/she the one?", "When are you getting married?"
Engaged: "How'd he ask?", "Can I see the ring?", "When's the wedding?", "How's the wedding planning going?"
Married: "When are you gonna have kids?"
Pregnant: "When are you due?", "What are you having?"
(I am sure there are more for future life stages, but me, nor my friends, have reached those yet)

I remember at times wanting to walk around with a sign around my neck with the answer to "the question" so I didn't have to repeat the answer.  Recently, "the question" has been "How's the house?"  All our friends, coworkers, family, etc know that we are supposed to be building a new house.  This has been in the works since late April.  The architect phase took longer than expected, then the bidding phase to finally get a solid price.  We originally thought we might start building around Thanksgiving.  Then we had some hiccups and thought before Christmas, then right after New Year's and finally we closed last week.  During all this time, we'd see people and get asked "the question". We would give the update... "Haven't started building yet, waiting on [insert architect, sub contractor, bank, etc here] so we can finally get started.  Hopefully in a couple of weeks."  I think our friends were starting to think we made the whole thing up.  Like we were the guy that keeps answering the "When are you going to propose?" question with "Next year!" and this goes on for several years.  

But finally, we get to start giving real progress.  Today was the first day of construction.  The lot was cleared!  Here are various pictures while it was happening this morning.  I went out at lunch and took a few more.  They were cleaning up and about to level the ground.  

Clearing in progress
Loading up the dump truck

View from left front toward backyardView through brush in shallow part of backyard

Standing in the drivewayStanding in the street in front of driveway

View of pond from driveway

In addition to the clearing, Ryan showed me that we got our water meter installed.  He made fun of me for taking a picture, but I am documenting everything I can.  
The form for the slab will start Tuesday, followed by dirt work, plumbing and slab preparations. Ryan says they will probably pour the slab next Friday!  It's really happening! 

Ryan is under orders from my Mom to take pictures every day (she's tougher on him than I am) so hopefully I will have updates often.  I won't get to visit the house much Tuesday - Thursday but will definitely make trips on Mondays, Fridays and the weekend!  More to come!

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