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Blocked Up

Well I am happy yesterday is behind me.  It was challenging and stressful.  Both Parm’s and Gary showed up just before 9AM (official Saturday starting time for construction based on District noise bylaw) with trucks full of concrete lock blocks. It took hours to get them all unloaded and down into the bottom of the pit.

Right away I got flack for the ICF skids I had started on the night before.  They were in the way but did not really impeded anything in my view.  So much for trying to help.  But there sure was a lot of discussion about it and I generally got scolded for the tight confines of the build site and counselled on what to do the next time.  Excavators are used to completely clearing a build site and not having anything to work around.  I totally understand, but this site was never going to be that way.  Lets just say there is not the same appreciation for saved trees and lumber from others that I have.

Young Parm was the first to unload and then headed off to another job.  Older Parm then had his blocks unloaded and then filled up the truck with dirt and headed off to dump and another job. Gary had the dump truck with pup trailer and was the last to unload.  He then filled the truck up with dirt before moving the excavator to the bottom of the hole where we spent the rest of the day placing blocks.

This was challenging as Gary and I have communication issues do to language barriers and had different ideas on how to install blocks.  I was very nervous that we only dig out enough dirt to install the next block on the north wall supporting Ron’s house.  We are within a foot and a bit in places (even less when there was a big rock present)  so are definitely disturbing the bearing soil for his foundation.  The geotech advised we needed to install blocks in the portion already excavated and then dig out the final portion and install blocks. So, I was on pins and needles the whole afternoon as we proceeded and was quite frazzled by the end.

In hind-site, we should have concentrated on the north wall and not done any work on the NW tree area.  We did not get the full qty of blocks needed to the site yet, so ran out before we were able to fully support all of the north wall including the front yard.  The house itself was supported, but I would have liked to see a lot more on each side supported as well.  Hopefully this gets finished tomorrow. Another challenge was the absence of enough half blocks as Lafarge were temporarily out at that location.  This meant we were unable to finish off rows of full blocks where the row below was missing a half block.

I was encouraged to put gravel behind the blocks but we did not have any on site, did not have the time to wait for its delivery, did not have a place to dump it even if it came, and this is not a permanent retaining wall that has to drain freely so that there is not a hydraulic pressure buildup.  These will be completely buried and supported on both sides within 4-6 weeks. SO we used dry till being excavated out of the remaining section of the north wall and I stomped it into place one level at a time.  Gary also dumped it from high above so it self compacted to a greater extent.

I will be very happy and relieved to get this part of the project behind me as I know Diamond will as well.

Partially installed lock block wall to hold up vertical excavation bank until back-fill.
Partially installed lock block wall to hold up vertical excavation bank until back-fill.

Thanks for visiting.


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