Well, so for this has been a frustrating week with very little progress.
It started off OK Monday. Ted came by and we measured all of the as poured foundation so that I can update my AutoCad model with the actual dimensions. We also finished prepping the pit for Tuesday’s gravel delivery.
But Tuesday started a slide that continued to today. I decided to try a different stone slinger that had a larger truck than the one I had used in the past. This would save some money and expedite the process of filling the basement up with the required crushed rock (less loads). Well, it certainly did not save time or money. The operator failed to come close to evenly spreading the rock (did not help that there were problems with the control box) and I ended up with generally a bunch of piles. The rock was also a lot bigger and sharper than past, so really difficult to shovel or rake out. Finally, there was a lot of fines that coated the sides of the foundation and scaffold and turned hard like grout and took forever to scrape off.
Fortunately, I had labour already booked for Wednesday, but this was not a task they were supposed to have on the list. I will have to go back to my previous slinger for the balance of gravel needed and beg forgiveness. Wednesday was a bit better in that Shane from Embers and I got some good work done. I had the rim boards, basement studs, and first floor assembly beams delivered from Standard Lumber. Shane and I laid out the rim boards on the scaffold around the foundation in the areas I will need to mount them to the side of the foundation wall. Shane also move and stacked all of the stud material for the basement down in the pit and brought up a bunch of garbage and put in trailer for my next dump run. He ended his day raking out most of the piles of gravel that had been deposited the day before. This was all a huge help that saved my back a lot of grief.
Once we set the rim boards in place, I was supposed to start mounting the rim boards but discovered that I had been sent the wrong anchor bolts. A few calls and emails later, and no dice. The special sleeved anchor bolts called up by the engineer were not readily available. I spent most of the afternoon following up on the bolts and also scrapping the gravel fines off the scaffold (slip safety hazard). After dropping Shane off at the SeaBus and returning the wrong bolts, I came back and was at least productive for an hour or so as I knocked out most of the pipes that I had put in as foundation penetrations (I had given these a whack a few hours after pouring to ensure the concrete would not bind to them). By removing them, I will be able to mount the rim boards and then drill the boards from the back-side and then re-install the pipe stubs through the foundation and newly mounted boards. This will save many hours of work and much frustration trying to accurately mark their location on the rim boards and drilling out the holes in advance.
Today I had to go to Coquitlam to pick up some Sopraseal Stick 1100T by Soprema, to install onto the back of the rim board as a capillary break between the foundation and rim boards (best practice), from a vendor who would not take visa over the phone. Fortunately, Standard also tracked down 40 of the 140 anchor bolts I needed at a vendor also out in Coquitlam. I headed out after going to the Lawyers to sign the paperwork needed for our first draw first thing this morning. More on that in a bit. The road trip took most of the mourning and I finally got back to the site at 1 PM.
Over the next 3 hours I did my best to install three anchor bolts. Yes you read right – only THREE bolts, and in the end none of these would bite into the concrete. I was installing 5/8″ bolts and the instructions were to use a 5/8″ masonry bit. There was no marking on the bit (ground off), but it was bigger than the 1/2″ and smaller than the 3/4″. Should be golden – right? But the bolts just kept spinning in the hole. Thought I was doing something wrong with the sleeved anchors (a style I had not used before), but checking the Simpson Strong-Tie website showed there was nothing novel to installing these puppies.
I finally gave up as it was getting close to time for my weekly back stretch anyway. I brought a bolt and the drill bit back to the office and put the micrometer on it. AHHHH – it was a 11/16″ bit. WHY would I have such a beast? I do not think you can even buy 11/16″ anchor bolts! On the way to chiro I bought a 5/8″ drill bit and also 3x 3/4″ bolts to put into the existing holes now that they are too big for the 5/8″ (yes I do have a confirmed 3/4″ bit as well).
So all in all – a very frustrating three days with no real progress on my part. On the other hand, a crew of about 7, framed the crawlspace, first floor assembly and most of the first floor walls on a new house down the street since Monday. As my neighbour would say – Poor!
A final frustration relates to the construction loan. In our talks with the bank, we were approved for over $450K for our first draw, being 40% of the property value. But we did not need anything near that much now, so were going to take $200K and have the rest forwarded later as needed so we would not be paying interest on money we did not yet need. This seemed doable, but the bank told the lawyer different, and we are now having to take the full draw. Go figure – they would not give us any money up front when we really needed it, even though we have a $1M property as collateral, but now are willing (and insistent) and giving us a huge first draw that will in fact probably finance the full build or pretty close to it. It is a weird world.
Tomorrow will hopefully be a productive day and I should be able to mount a large number of the rim boards in place. But I am taking my cat (Blackberry) in to the vet for tooth surgery in the morning, and dreading what else this week may be capable of sending my way. Think positive thoughts (he is 11).
Thanks for visiting.