Since the last post, Trent has spent every waking daylight hour that he is not at his day job, sawing away at Styrofoam (ICF) and building the foundation for our house. As he estimated, it took him about 4 weeks to complete the ICF walls which will serve as the walls for our garage/basement and the foundation for our home. He never ceases to amaze me, and did it once again by building this formation 100% by himself with the exception of hiring 2 hourly helpers one Saturday and getting some help from his dad and a friend another weekend. On the regular he comes home looking like he just braved a snowstorm, covered from head to toe with Styrofoam particles. Along with Trent, my Dyson has been putting in some SERIOUS overtime.
On my last post, he had really just started the ICF and this is where he was at week 1 of the ICF installation:
These next photos are from week 2. Week 2 was a good week as far as getting a bulk of the ICF in place. Unfortunately, along with getting lots done, there were 2 serious fall backs. On a Friday night after work, and after working at the lot, Trent was trying to get in some extra overtime by working on building bucks. Those wooden frames that you see in the doorways and windows in the picture below are called bucks. While Trent was working on them, IN THE DARK, he shot a ribbed nail from a pressurized nail gun completely through one finger and into the next. His fingers were literally nailed together and the ribbed nail had to be pulled out with plyers and man force (his dad). Luckily the nail missed the bone and his hand is (finally) almost fully healed! The other downfall was that the longest wall of ICF got completely blown down in a windstorm that we had. Though Trent had to waste time going back and fixing it, we were lucky that we didn’t get the crazy wind and tornadoes that other people in our area got.
I included the photo directly above (with the porta potty) to give everyone an idea of how high our livable house is actually going to be. As I stated before, since we are building on a creek in a flood pain, we are not building your average house. Our first floor will BEGIN about 18″ ABOVE the ICF that you see, so our front porch will be about as high off the ground as the tallest dirt pile that you see. We are aware of the fact that our house might look a little strange being so high, but it necessary to keep us out of the water.
The photos below are from week 3. Week 3 consisted of installing the last pieces of ICF and building and attaching supports in preparation for the concrete pour.
The photos below are from week 4, the final week of the ICF! Week 4 was big because Trent poured the concrete into the ICF walls. This was a big deal because the walls were extremely vulnerable up to this point. Should we have gotten a major wind storm or flood, all of Trent’s hard work (and costly materials) could have been blown or washed away. Now that the concrete has been poured, they are here for life!
Check out this crazy piece of equipment that Trent was working with all day!
Once the concrete was poured and had time to set up, Trent went back and removed all of the supports. This is what it looks like now:
Now that the walls are complete it is a little easier to explain the spaces. The long room below will serve as an enclosed storage room/game room. Since it is so big we eventually plan to separate it into two rooms so that one room can be an air conditioned guest room. The other room will be a game room that will have French doors that open up to the back yard. To the right of the long storage room will be a full bathroom. The other photo shows our side entry garage. Our garage will only have 2 doors, but can technically fit 4 cars if you stack them. To the left of the garage will be another enclosed storage room.
Since the concrete was poured, we have had a plumber working to install some of the initial plumbing for the house and the lines for the basement bathroom. We also had a weatherproofing company install weatherproofing on the ICF/foundation. Trent’s next job is to install a French drain around the basement and prep for our concrete company as they will be pouring our driveway, slab and back porch next week!
Trent is tired from all the hard work and I am going a bit coo-coo dealing with these crazy kiddos solo, but every time we are at the lot the beautiful view and the sound of the waterfall remind us why we are going through all the chaos!