As many of you know, we purchased a lot in our neighborhood to build a custom home on and are in preparation to put our current house on the market this coming April. Yikes! Writing this made me realize that’s right around the corner. In an effort to avoid being homeless, our new house is finally underway! Since Trent is the general contractor for our new house and the handyman for our current house (along with working a full-time job), he is a little busy lately 😉
We officially broke ground at our future home site, AKA ‘Creekside Custom’, on January 26th! Since we are building our house on a creek in a flood plain, this home building venture has been anything but ordinary. In order for the county to approve us to build in this area, we had to have house plans that showed that our home was not in the current 100 year floodplain. Considering it has flooded 2 times in 3 years, we were perfectly fine agreeing to build our house at their requested elevation. Since our house needed to be about 5 steps above street level, our options were to either build a house on stilts much like a beach house, or utilize the space below and build our house on top of a basement. We opted for the basement so that we could have a traditional style home and enjoy the extra storage space that a basement provides.
Since we are not building a typical Texas style home on a normal piece of land, there was lots of site preparation to be done. The earthwork company spent 2 days digging out and rearranging the dirt in preparation for the foundation work to begin.
The day before they began, the site prep company had a massive piece of machinery delivered to our lot. Since it’s not everyday that you have one of these to play with, we decided to have a little photo shoot. I think a track loader might be on Conleigh’s Christmas list…
Here are some photos of our lot after the dirt work began:
A few days after the land was dug out and leveled, we had a backhoe service come in to dig the trenches for the concrete footings. After the footing trenches were dug out, the concrete company came in to install weatherproofing and rebar, and then poured the concrete footings.
Trent basically lives in this dirt pit lately so we come to visit/distract him. On this visit, the concrete was still a little wet from the pour so I was able to write Conleigh and Blynn’s names in our foundation.
Now that the concrete has been poured, Trent has begun installing the ICF walls. What is ICF, you ask? In my words, it’s fancy Styrofoam. According to Wikipedia, insulated concrete form (ICF) is a system of formwork for reinforced concrete usually made with a rigid thermal insulation that stays in place as a permanent interior and exterior substrate for walls, floors, and roofs. The forms are interlocking modular units that are dry-stacked (without mortar) and filled with concrete. The units lock together somewhat like Lego bricks and create a form for the structural walls or floors of a building.
This is what it looks like:
This type of foundation is extremely energy efficiant and natural disaster resistant, which is why we opted to use it. This material will keep our basement at a very comfortable temperature year round and will hold up well if/when our property floods.
Trent has been working on building these walls for several nights after work and the bulk of this last weekend. He thinks that he has a few more weeks worth of work until he is done building the ICF walls. Here is where he was at yesterday:
Once the ICF walls are done being built, Trent will pour concrete into the ICF, then the concrete company will come back out to pour the slab and our driveway. Once that is done, the framing begins!
In the mean time, if you are a fan of Legos, feel free to come over and play with Trent 🙂