Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Here is the progress on our house as of this evening.

They've waterproofed, which involves layers of a tar like substance and then this home builder uses a nifty product (delta ms) to line where living space meets outside.

Under all this pea gravel is a perforated pipe with a silt filter sleeve around it that feeds through those previously shown holes in the footing to drain into the sump pump and then away from the house.

Brock, this one's for you...(recognize the tie?)

This is how the concrete turned out, just a little bit of a fun finish.

Yes, they put it crooked down the side on purpose, the yard is going to slope down and they didn't want this brown layer poking out it's pretty head.

Cool stuff, it blocks water and damage from impact when backfilling the dirt. But if any water does get behind it it allows it to drain down to the gravel and the drain system at the bottom. Genius.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Footings and Foundations 101

So...Curt informs me that he didn't even know the difference between footings and foundations before I (probably none too gently) corrected him. But, if he didn't know the real meaning of the terms then I figure a little tutorial could do other people some good.

Here we go. Carmen's brief and not very professor like Footings and Foundations 101.

This is a pretty handy diagram that I just took the liberty of marking all up with my pink summaries.

This was just our footing.
The hole through it, on the off chance you were wondering, is for a drain system they install on both sides that they connect to a sump pump in the basement, (hopefully) keeping the basement dry in the non-dry state of Michigan.
The little loop of rebar sticking up is used (I think, not something I've really seen before) to tie in the slab floor when they pour it.
**Update, the loop is actually used for braces that they put up to support the foundation walls after they strip the forms but before the concrete is cured**

Foundation wall.
They pour this on top of the footing after it has dried a bit and gotten some of its strength.

No, they didn't just dump their extra concrete on the ground to get rid of it...this is a spot footing.
They will pour the concrete floor right over it, but this is a spot that they will be putting in a pillar support in the basement.

So what is the purpose of a footing?
Well, when you build a pyramid out of blocks you start with a wider base to make it sturdy. But what makes it sturdy is that the weight of the upper blocks is being spread around a bigger area touching the ground. Same concept here. The footing takes the load of the foundation wall (and thus the weight of the house) and distributes it out over a wider piece of ground, making it more sturdy.

Well, that's the end of class time, the difference between cement and concrete.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

And now, the moment we've been waiting for...

...we have FOOTINGS people!
This was a picture we took Monday after we got home.

Here is a picture taken from the back corner. The unexcavated portion will be the garage, the closest corner will be the living room, the corner on the right will be the kitchen, and the far corner is the entry and dining/piano room...actually it technically is the basement, but we're pretending we're a floor up already.

Looking at what will be the front porch.

Our hole.
*Note that that power box and pole are in the process of being moved.

...and now we have FOUNDATION WALLS!
This is a picture we took today.
Again, looking at the front of the house that will be the front porch.

This is a window buck. It keeps the concrete out of the area for the window frame and window that will be there. These are pretty awesome foundation wall forms. See how they will make the concrete look like bricks? They are also made out of aluminum, not wood. Expensive, but handy and durable. They will probably come strip these off after the weekend is over.

These are straps embedded into the concrete that are used to attach things when they start framing.

Again, the unexcavated corner will be the garage.

Our pretty backyard with a big pile of dirt in it.

Utah Trip: Last Day

We got home from Grassy and headed straight for the showers. We were Dirty with a capital D. I had to clean up little, Shane size footprints off of Mom's nice and clean tile floors.

There were so many friends that I wanted to see while in Utah but didn't have the friends the Gehrke's, my co-workers at Castlewood, my friend Larry (who I just barely informed that I moved to Michigan, oops), my friend Allyson. Grrr. Maybe next time.

Overall a very fun/satisfying trip.

Helaman came up from Orem to play cards with us Saturday night. It was the first time that we've been able to see him since he got back from Iraq.

Shane is so GQ. He should be a little Ralph Lauren model.
*Of course, he would probably need braces before that could happen.

Lane and Nina sleeping on the couch Sunday afternoon. I'll have to do a how-to post on how I painted those walls. Also note the cool side tables and lamps....a salvage find and a Walmart piece...doesn't get any better than that.

Me and Curt

Shane and Melynda eating a fantastic roast dinner. Yeah, I can't wait until I have a real kitchen again.

Lane poking Mom.

Curt making a face.

Take 1: I don't think either Mom or I knew the picture was being taken.

Take 2: There we go...smiles.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Utah Trip: Day 3

So, I have realized that I have kind of smudged up the days. So here is my disclaimer...all the pictures I have posted have been in chronological order, but my "Day 1", "Day 2", "Day 3" logic is kind of off. Just know that we started out for Grassy on Wednesday and went back home to Mom's on Saturday.

Another disclaimer: it is getting late here so beware that I will not be witty or intelligent in the least on this post, and likely not coherent.

Well, now that we have those out of the way...

This is my fantastic fire I coaxed out of the previous night's coals. Aren't I good? I eventually got it up to a nice morning bonfire.

I think this is one of my new favorite pictures of Shane. He and I were early morning buds and usually had some time together before the others woke up. Here he was still just a little too sleepy to pull one of his goofy faces, so it's just a genuine, sleepy smile. Love it!

Yeah, we fit four of us on a boat that really fits two. Go us.
This is Shane and Lane, but Curt and I were on the boat also.

Lane on Grassy Lake.

Curt fishin'

Shane fishin'

Curt and Lane swam across the lake; Curt swam back across while Lane walked back.

A bunch of our cousins.
Natasha, Shantelle, Kristy, and Karalee

You know those moments when you realize that your little siblings have grown up? Yeah, this represents one of those. Here is Lane in all of his adult-farmer-tan-buffness. Aaahhh, cute.

Shaners stirring up mud in the shallows.

The extended fam did a bunch of tie dyed stuff.

Lane represented our branch of the family...and represent he did.
You may notice in other pictures that we are a fully branded CAT family.

Poor Miles was one pooped dog.

Family softball game up in the meadow.

The huge combined family dinner on Friday night. Way fun.
Cindy and Justin planned this year's activities. They had a treasure hunt for the kids, movies each night for everybody, and...

...a super cool pinata for the grandkids and great-grandkids.

Shane made off with a haul.

Grandma and Grandpa with the kids.
Bev, Marsha, Roger, Dad, Shiela, Barbie, Cindy
Gene and June Losee

My Lane and Nina-pie.


Goofy Melynda.

Me, Curt and Nina.

Melynda and I.

Last sunrise while there.

Waterfall we passed on the way out of the mountains.

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