Thursday, February 9, 2012


There is action at the building site, just not visual changes. The footings are in and sealed and the drainage is placed around the foundation perimeter.

This week the interior of the foundation was leveled and filled with gravel and the crawl space was prepped for its concrete pour. After our second county inspection this morning we are set to pour the floor of the crawl space and the well area that will provide access to said crawl space. Such exciting stuff......

One thing that we run into again and again with this building adventure is certain people's refusal to do things differently from what has ALWAYS been done. I understand the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" but in reality much of it is broke and does need fixing. Yes, most of our homes keep us dry and somewhat warm but they could keep us a lot warmer for a lot less work ($) and they could be built a lot stronger and last a lot longer will less maintenance.

When we started this process one of our missions was to use as many resources that were located close to home, on the divide, in the county, certainly in the state, as possible. We ran into many people right off the bat that didn't want to do any work for us - too weird. Even to the point that one structural engineering entity in the next town over told we COULD NOT BUILD THIS HOUSE, it was impossible. Well, you just chuckle and say thank you very much and move on to prove them wrong.

As much as we want to utilize local resources, we also want to be green and use better building products and processes and when locals aren't up for it we are forced to move further afield. We have accepted it, but we did offer it up to our neighbors first. It is a shame that so many just won't think out of the box and take on a different challenge. We are aware that it might cost more or take longer - use us to try it out, what else are you gonna build right now?

On the other hand we have been lucky to use locals quite a bit to date. Our surveyor, geologist, engineer, excavator, and concrete guy have all been locals and they are great to work with. They all know each other, work well together, are very laid back and easy to get along with. Up until now our concrete has been sourced locally on the divide but they aren't really thrilled about some of the concrete selections we have for the slab and ICF walls (fly ash and lightweight) so we will have to say goodbye to them and move a little further afield. Such is life.

And though our windows are manufactured in Colorado (not many California manufacturers to choose from for windows) the ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) blocks are manufactured in Bakersfield, CA! Yeh, B-Field! I will do a resource post soon and list where we got everything.

The entire building process is a real eye opener and there is no way anything can prepare you for the real thing. Like the county that wants to inspect the tissues you use to blow your nose, do the holes in a french drain face up or down (thanks Google!) and how many pizzas do you need to order for the entire concrete pumping team? It's all the little details, small decisions to make everyday and dealing with me constantly changing the house design and being told I can't put a door there because it is a bearing wall......UGH!

So another concrete pour tomorrow - stay tuned!


  1. Loving the blog...keep up the good work, better than a novel.