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Lost Track

The last week has progressed well.  It has been reasonably dry and I was able to get a lot of the backfill complete.  The back west wall is almost complete (put it aside to do other weather dependent things).  Mr. J was by on Friday and we were able to backfill the front garage wall to a height of 6 ft, which is all that will be done until I pour the suspended slab.

Front of garage half back-filled.
Front of garage half back-filled.

He also helped finish off the gravel drainage plane on the west wall. I brought the gravel up to the height of the shop exhaust port (8″ PVC pipe – foreground is exhaust and background is intake).  This exhaust port will get connected to a 20′ PVC pipe extension before rising above grade, so the fumes are evacuated well away from the house.  The pipe will be sloped away from the house and have a hole in the bottom of the pipe at the far end before it elbows up.  The pipe will be set in a bed of gravel that will be connected to the drainage plane on the west wall.  This will drain any condensation that builds up in the pipe.  In general I am stopping the drainage plane about one foot below the surface so that there is no connection with grade and storm water.  I do not want the possibility of storm water flooding down under the basement floor slab (as I have to pump all this water up to drain to District).  I stopped the gravel even lower on the west wall because I did not want the flower/herb garden bed drying out too much.

I brought the drainage plane on the west wall up to the height of the 8" shop exhaust port.
I brought the drainage plane on the west wall up to the height of the 8″ shop exhaust port.

After talking it over with my building science mentor, I decided to forgo the granular drainage plane around the garage.  The drainage plane was an extra level of protection to ensure the ROCKWOOL stayed very dry and retained all of its R Value.  As the room under the garage is a ‘cold’ room anyway, it will not matter if I loose a small amount of thermal resistance in the unlikely event that the insulation somehow gets wet (it is still covered with dimple sheet).  This greatly sped up the process (at least 2x as fast).

With all of the back fill completed, that can be done at this stage of construction, I set work on the pile of backfill at the rear of the site.  I had used up most of the glacial till to backfill the west wall and was now stuck with the glacial cobble.  The till had a few rocks (mainly big ones) that were easier to avoid.  The coble was a drastically different story.  This stuff is around 60% Rock 40% soil.  I built a screen (see photo below) and proceeded to start separating the rocks from the soil.  It has been working great and I now have about 20+ yards of screened soil I can use for additional backfill later in the build process.  And I will use a lot of the rock on site for a rock wall along the south property line, raised vegetable garden bed walls, and landscaping around a man-made stream, pond and waterfall planned for the back yard.  I was on track to finish the screening activities today (before the week of rain expected) but then poor Alfie threw a track mid afternoon and I was done for the day.  I tried to pull back on with chains as you see in the photo below, but after 1.5 hours, I had only managed to get one side onto the sprocket and could not get the other onto the idler.  So I will need to release the hydraulic pressure on the idler and try to force it back in before prying the track back into place.  This will be done on the next dry day! At least most of the soil (finished about 90% of it) is screened and ready to go.

Trying to put Alfie's show back on.
Trying to put Alfie’s shoe back on.

Tomorrow will probably be an office day and then I will clean up a few loose ends related to backfill before starting on the forming for the garage floor and wall stubs.  It will be great to change gears and finally get away from the backfill process. Hope is to pour concrete late November if all goes smoothly.  Ha!  – we will see if that happens.

Thanks for visiting.

“True grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be done. No moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows he should have done.”
—John Wayne (1907-1979) American Film Actor, Director, And Producer

“The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It’s about what you’re made of, not the circumstances.” —Unknown

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