Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Time to place concrete!

Already in the thick of placing concrete for the retaining wall. This whole "keyway" of concrete better not move. My impression is that it's a gigantic counterweight for the house.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Deep Breaths

They are supposed to do the first concrete pour this week. It has been more shocking seeing the trenches for foundation work than the original grading. This is the real deal. The wall will be THERE. We are also now in an area where there's a lot I don't understand, and I just have to trust that it's all as it should be. I am realizing how much scarier this would be if the architect weren't my husband and the engineer weren't my father. And if I didn't trust them. For example, Mr. Engineer comes out with doozies like this: "Vital that dowels, for subsequent vertical reinforcement, and anchor bolts, for sill plates and especially simpson steel shear wall bolts with deep embedment, are placed in foundation concrete." Huminahuh? This is where I have to stop being such a control freak and leave it to the experts. And it's gonna be great, I tell you.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Actual Progress

Sr. Juniper informed me that when the concrete guys say they're going to start on Monday, that means they are going to meet at the lot and talk about all the stuff we've already talked about. But they did start this week! They've chalked off some lines and started digging for the massive footings for the retaining walls. What are all those different lines for? I'm not sure!
Dang, it's looking real!
Also, the concrete team's truck is "Powered by GOD". So there's that on our side.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bowling for Countertops

We followed a Craigslist lead and bought a 6 foot length of bowling alley floor. Okay, I found the lead, but Sr. Juniper followed up on it while I napped. It's maple, joined with fir (did you know they only use hardwood for the first few feet of the lane?). Our friend who is an artist/craftsman/carpenter extraordinaire came along for advice, and he'll clean it up and put edges on it and it will be the countertop on our island. We haven't picked the kitchen finishes yet, but this gives us something to go on. We like the quirky, informal, recycled feel of it.

Busman's Holiday

This is how the architect spends a rainy weekend (last weekend, before the shoring was done), trying not to worry about what the rain was doing to the hillside. Thanks for being there for us, Science Center!
Does it say something that Sr. Juniper was going for height, Juniper Jr. was doing some creative thing incorporating the table, and after my first tower went down, I busied myself with landscape elements and keeping our block supply full? Actually, Sr. Juniper didn't want to be the archi-geek with the tallest structure in the room, but I kept egging him on.

Shoring Done

They got the boards up and the shoring is done. Huge sigh of relief. Of course, the rain's all done for now, anyway. Trenching for concrete work and foundations starts Monday.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Rain Stopped

Well - at last! The rain was giving me fits. We finally got the show on the road with a yellow monster rig drilling the footing holes for the temporary shoring! By noon, the drill rig was gone and the shoring beams were in place with concrete poured! Ahead of schedule for the time being. Next on the list is wood lagging across the face of the exposed slope this coming Friday. I never thought I would see steel...but there it is. Reassuring in a way.

Sra. Juniper and I have begun looking for plumbing fixtures. What kind of vanity sink for the powder room?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


No progress, really, just lots of rain and negotiating how to shore up these walls of earth so the concrete people can get to work. This has involved an insane amount of back and forth between the soils engineer, the shoring people, the concrete people, Mr. Builder, the ever-patient structural engineer (thanks, Dad!), and Sr. Juniper. I don't really know anything about shoring, so I just wish they'd all figure it out and we could get on with it!

From time to time, we check by the lot to make sure there hasn't been some kind of mud disaster, and when the rain pitter-patters on our roof, we turn up the TV and practice denial.

To cheer myself up, I'll post this picture Sr. Juniper took from the back of the lot, where things still look lush.