Sunday, August 24, 2008

Garage construction #4 and beautiful (and unusual) sunset #6

On Gene's second day of digging with the tractor he was able to dig the trench for the water line from the house to the garage site, and begin digging the footings for the garage foundation.
Here he's digging the footing under what will be the west wall. The 8" bucket allows us to dig a trench at the correct grade and simply fill the trench with cement to produce the footing.

Here's the trench for the water line with the spool of extra tubing sitting at the garage end. The line has been stubbed through the house basement wall at this time and the tubing laid into the trench.

This is why the excavator has that little dozer blade on the front end of the undercarriage: to push dirt back into the trench you just made! Even though Gene looks very serious in these tractor operation photos, it was clear he really enjoyed running the machine and moving dirt. What a perfect gift for the man that seems to have everything: his own tractor! Maybe Stan will buy him one someday....

This was as far as we got on Friday night. The footing trench is a little over halfway done, and the water line is laid in its own trench. This is starting to look like a construction site!

At the end of the day Friday, the Lord blessed us with a beautiful and unusual sunset. Can anyone explain why the dark streaks appear in the sky? They aren't clouds....

Saturday saw more progress with the tractor including digging the trench to the electrical service. We got rained out about the time we were going to set the conduit in the trench, so that will have to wait until next week. The wire running out of conduit on the back side of the meter pole is the telephone line that we had to carefully avoid during our digging. The electrical service could be a bit undersized for both the house and the garage, so we have an appointment with our electricity cooperative, Corn Belt, to assess the situation.

After a pretty good (and humid) day's effort on Saturday, August 23, this is how the site looks. The footing trench is complete, the electric trench is dug, and the water line is laid in its trench and buried almost all the way back to the house. Once the concrete patch around the water pipe on the house foundation is dried we'll close the water line trench in completely. You may have also noticed the pile of clay dirt in the foreground has been spread around on the driveway on the east side of the garage since that end will need more fill before the project is done.

Point of trivia: the difference in elevation between the high northwest corner (on right) and the low southeast corner (on left) is 13 inches! Who would have thought our yard sloped that much?

Next steps: set rebar in the footing trench to prepare for the concrete pour, and prepare for laying a couple of rows of concrete blocks on top of the footing. Thanks for reading; Lord willing, we'll be back with more details in the days to come....

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