Reboot Complete!

I am pleased to advise that I have ended 2014 and started 2015 with progress.

On the 29th Ted dropped by for the morning and we worked on rechecking all of the previously laid out ICF modules for both elevation and alignment. I was pleased that only very minor adjustments were needed to the ICF modules. A few had settled and need to be jacked up. This had nothing to do with the storm and was because I had stacked three rows of ICF block on top for temp storage thinking I would be back the next day. I had not counted on being away from site for the better part of three weeks with both illness and then Christmas events. Fortunately, with the design of the ICF suspended supports, this was an easy fix.

The string lines for the areas I had not yet laid out the modules in were a different storey. 1 set of batter boards had been completely pulled out by the tarp when it was hauled to the topside, and three others had been damaged and shifted both by the tarp flapping in the wind, and the process of pulling the tarp out of the pit.

Before starting on their repair, I dug out the mud that had sloughed off the pit ramp – There was about 6 full Alfie buckets. There was no sense hauling this out of the pit with buckets (just to dump back in during back filling) so I placed some geo-textile above the gravel back-fill at the base of the sump and then dumped the mud on top. This will allow the soil to drain and dry out over time.

The reset ended up being a good thing. We were having problems getting string lines to square up and be at the right distances. So after lunch I went back and started from the first corner again and re-measured EVERYTHING. I ended up tweaking a few lines a 1/8″ here and there, but the main mistake found was that the south wall of placed ICF modules was 1/2″ too long. I believe that this was caused by the fact that I was using a fibreglass tape back when I did this wall and as previously mentioned – THEY STRETCH! (I now have a 100ft steel tape that is great)

I finished the day by trimming the last block by the needed 1/2″, completed the replacing/repairing of all batter boards, and then re-running all but the last two string lines. I ended up will all tolerances withing 1/8″ which is good enough for me and represents tighter tolerances than the ICF blocks in some cases.

The 30th was generally occupied with lunches and dinners with family and friends, but I did manage to lay out some new plastic along the east bank to protect the soil I had stock piled behind the sump. The 31st saw the reboot complete as I laid out the final 2 string lines and then placed modules of ICF along the garage east wall. I was finally moving forward for the first time since Dec 8.

As Jan 1 was a stat, I could not really make any construction noise so I completed a job that really needed to get done but that I had been putting off. When the floor truss package was delivered, the support structure I built for it had been knocked around while moving the long 22ft skids into place. As a result it was no longer level from either side to side or length to length. In fact the north end had completely collapsed into the mud. I did not want to leave the package in this state any longer than I already had, for fear that they would start twisting and warping. Three and a half hours later and I had jacked up the entire package so that it was 8-10 inches off the ground and generally level in both directions. Another 30 minutes had the next ICF module all laid out ready for the next days work in the pit.

Today saw ICF modules placed along half of the garage south wall before heading off to an extended lunch with some family members. It was a particularly difficult section due to there being a corner involved and also the need to slide under a batter board where there will be a ‘T’ intersection.

It feels really good to be progressing forward again and I have a renewed optimism and determination for the project. The ‘New Years’ has allowed me to mentally say good by to all the crap of the last 6 months and start again, this time hopefully on a more productive and professional schedule. My back has been tolerable. I take lots of meds in the morning and get through most of the day without severe discomfort. The evenings are a different storey and some days I cannot really walk anymore. I anticipate it being this seesaw at least until the foundations are complete and I do not need to lift 45+ Lb blocks all day. I hope to finish laying out the exterior footings, incorporation the first row of ICF, within the next week. I then need to form the internal footings with XPS rigid foam and will hopefully be ready for all the inspections and surveys I need by the 29th. There is a small chance we will pour in Jan but should be fore sure the first week of Feb.

Thanks for visiting and enjoy the ride!

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