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Footing Layout Complete

Sorry for the delay folks.  Hard to believe a week has gone by since my last entry.  SO lets catch up.

20th – Electrical Inspector came by and approved request for additional plugs and some construction lighting.

She also approved request to hook up the 60A tech cable feeding the shop out back.  I had disconnected and dug this up prior to taking the house down and doing the excavation.  Once the shop is re-energized I will have lights back there again but more importantly, I can get my compressor running for my pneumatic tools.

Rest of day involved shopping for construction lighting, renewing my construction electrical permit, sending the E80 on its way, and spending quite a bit of time coordinating the truss shipment.

21st – Went to Fab-Form in morning and picked up the Fastfoot product and discussed installation with them. Some challenges using the heavier Durisol, but all was figured out by end of visit.

Ted then dropped by in the afternoon and we confirmed the south side footing string line (things had been moved since we put it in) and also put in the batter board where the front of the house meets the garage foundation (Tee intersection). Was not much but we were only at it just over 2 hours.  Once Ted was gone I worked on into the dark for an hour and started installing the construction lighting.

22nd – In the morning my Father-In Law Eric came by and we built a new rack for the long salvaged wood boards and loaded it up.  The original poorly built rack had been moved out of the way with the E80 but now was too weak to move again and needed to get out of the way of the truss package.

I then spent some time in the afternoon building a flat support for the floor truss package.  I used three skids from the ICF shipment and raised them off the ground a foot so the trusses will stay dry and true.

23rd – Completed the first two of the four construction lights and then worked on my truck. Rod, a visitor to the site, asked if the truck was OK.  No worries, was just installing new brake pads on the front, changing the Waste Veg Oil filter, and adding some engine restore to try to reduce start up smoke (the old girl is showing her age and has not been happy with all of the tarp hoisting duties).

24th – Work on floor truss shipment for half of morning.  This has been a high maintenance shipment.  There has been repeated delays which are not a big deal from a construction standpoint, but because I need to rent equipment to unload the truck, I needed to coordinate arrival quite closely.  I also had difficulty securing a telehandler to rent.  After spending several hours with one company, they informed me that they could not rent to me because I am not renting through a company with liability insurance (I did not renew mine as I will not be practicing inspections while building).  Then several others did not have a machine.  I finally ended up at GWG and the machine will be delivered tomorrow morning with the trusses slated to arrive in the early afternoon.

I also followed up with SMT for the 100 or so embedded moisture sensors I will be imbedding in or around the foundation as part of my building science lab.  SMT are allowing me to do some of the soldering to save money which is very much appreciated but means I have a lot of ‘evening’ work coming up.

When I finally got to the site I cleaned up the pit bottom and then continued working on grading the gravel in the perimeter footing zone.

25th – Had another load of 3/4 crush slung into pit.  This was to fill up some of the low spots near the perimeter footings so that the footing gravel would not slough down when I compact it.  Also had more truss shipment follow up.  This time with the freight broker as the photos they sent of the loaded goods show they have been unwrapped and possibly unbundled.  If so, there is a chance they are warped or otherwise not suitable for service.  Will have to hold my breath and see what they look like when they arrive.

Afternoon consisted of another lumber run followed by more perimeter footing zone gravel leveling and the installation of batter board at the SE corner of the garage.

Today – I finished leveling all of the gravel and installed the last batter board for the perimeter ICF footings (I still have internal footings to lay out but will do after I have the perimeter footing forms in place).

The batter board installation is relatively easy – but the running of the string lines takes a lot more time and effort.  Each perpendicular run would have to be measured and re-measured and then squared up using Pythagoras theorem.   Thank goodness for modern day calculators.  At the end of the day all of the string lines were perfect (most accurate to under 1/8″).  When I had run the last string I discovered the overall width of the house was consistently .5″ too wide.  I chalked it up to being the first line Ted and I had run and just adjusted accordingly.  I finished off the day by installing two more construction lights and building a lifting jig for the floor truss shipment.

Some things I learned running string lines.

  • You can never be too accurate, any small mistakes can become exponentially worse as you proceed through the plan.
  • Always measure every line at least twice even if you come up with the right number on the first try.
  • If you come up with the wrong number – recheck the last line you put in.
  • Be VERY careful of the 100ft ‘cloth’ measuring tapes.  THEY STRETCH!  By the time you pull hard enough to take the slack out of the line, you are adding length to your measurement.  They should be used for rough measurements only.
  • No matter how hard you try to hold a tape measure ‘in mid air’ over a spot you want to measure from while the second person is at the other end pulling to draw up slack, you will never be accurate.  I ended up always building a batter board with a stick perpendicular to the batter to the point of measurement that allowed me to put a screw into to hook the tape onto (photos coming).
  • Before measuring the length of a string line, ALWAYS make sure it is square to the completed perpendicular string line first.
  • Install the string lines in a consistent direction around your plan.  I worked counter-clockwise.
  • Cross brace your batters well – there is a lot of tension on them by the time you get your string lines tight, and they will move if not properly braced.

Well – now you are caught up.  Tomorrow is to be the big truss arrival day full of lots of stresses.  Will the trusses be damaged?  Will I be able to drive the telehandler (first time)?  Will I get the trusses off the truck and into their holding spot?

While on site I will also use the telehandler to lower a 9ft metal beam into the pit (to be used for footing layout and then built into the basement ceiling) and a plate compactor so that I can lock in the crushed rock in the footing zones before doing the final grading. Once complete I will haul the compactor back to the top using my recently acquired winch while ‘driving’ it up the ramp.

I promise to take some photos and videos soon.  I have been waiting for better weather.

Thanks for visiting.


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