Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Delays, permitting and finally, a foundation

Whoops. It has been forever since I wrote a post about this house build.  Let's pretend I wrote this one last August, shall we?

Since I last posted, we had to make some major changes to our plans, which delayed the permitting process significantly and the start date.

Because of recent testing on Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs), our Municipality decided that SIPs no longer satisfied the requirements for structural building.  So, if we were building a timber frame house, SIPs would be fine as an insulator, but as the structural element, it no longer tested well enough for our seismic and wind zones.

Our architect broke the news to me about a week before we were to get a permit.  I laughed out loud.  Then I said, "Well, maybe it is all for the best."  I was never all that excited about SIPs anyway.  We had to make a decision about a new wall system in the next couple of days.  A decision we had spent months agonizing over previously.

Our contractor suggested we build a 2x6 wall filled with spray foam and furr out the interior to create a thermal break and suggested the cost would be similar.  We quickly agreed and our architect and structural engineer got to work redrawing our plans.  Our building permit was delayed by over a month, which turned out to be a very sunny and warm month.
The Building Permit! 
After a lot of dirt work, the foundation began around July 1st.  The foundation was not a simple one and all the work took almost two months.  We are building two separate structures. The foundation work included a crawl space built with ICFs, a slab garage with block footers below the frostline, piers for the columns, and sonotubes for the deck. There is a lot of hidden structure in the cement for structural engineering of the building as well. Then, a whole lot of dirt came in to level things out.

House footers poured
cement block foundation for garage

ICF blocks set for house
a view of some of the structural rebar in the ICF walls

This door will eventually be at ground level, so will the two
garage doors behind me.  A whole lot of dirt to follow.
added foundation inside ICF walls of house

A whole lot of dirt came in over a weekend.
insulation, radiant heat tubing, and plumbing set before slab is poured for the garage

2 months later, foundation work is complete!  More dirt to follow.

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