Breaking Ground: building our foundation

WE STARTED OUR HOME! At the end of June we began work on our foundation. It has been a slow and steady process and we are certain that we will have a strong foundation to build the rest of our home on. It seems appropriate that our home site sits on top of a wildflower field!

We are building a passive solar house that we designed, and so naturally over the course of the past 8 months Jonathan and I have spent a lot of time thinking about home sighting and calculating the sun’s angle at different times of the year. Passive solar means that we harness the suns energy to help us efficiently heat our home in the winter, so we have to install a concrete slab floor (from here on out referred to as “the slab”) that acts as a heat bank. It captures the heat in the winter and holds it, keeping the house warm. However, the other side of passive solar is to make sure that our hot NC sun never shines into the house in the summertime. So we have learned to calculate house position and roof eaves to achieve sun in the house in the winter, but not in the summer….whew!!

Megan and Pedro at the job site. Photo by Thomas Fisher

Megan and Pedro at the job site. Photo by Thomas Fisher

Breaking Ground! Photo by Thomas Fisher

Breaking Ground! Photo by Thomas Fisher

We hired out the digging and pouring of the footers to Pedro Barcenas (of Barcenas Construction). He and his crew also installed 4 courses of concrete block which helps to raise our house level up and helps the plumbing drain better. They also dug and installed our foundation drain and put in a driveway for us. They did a fantastic job and we are having them come back and pour our final slab foundation in a few weeks.

Next Jonathan and I spent a long time moving over 40 TONS of gravel into our foundation. Thank goodness for our neighbors with tractors who scooped all the gravel into the foundation for us. We raked it all into the middle, leveled it out and dug the trenches for the plumbing. Let me tell you what, slinging gravel in 95 degree whether ensured that our sweat, blood and tears (mostly mine) made it into our foundation.

Jonathan throwing gravel around!

Jonathan throwing gravel around!

I dug these trenches through the gravel for our plumbing

I dug these trenches through the gravel for our plumbing

Next our plumber, Bruce Carver, came and installed the plumbing that goes under the slab. He did such a great job and was so kind to us. We are planning on installing the rest of the plumbing in the house ourselves, so we watched and learned a lot from him.

What’s next?? VACATION! Jonathan and I are leaving for for 5 whole days and getting up to my Grandma’s lake house in Maryland. When we come back we are installing insulation under the slab, a vapor barrier, rebar and then finally our radiant floor heat. We are doing all this ourselves and then we are hiring out the final pour of the slab!

Stay Tuned for Home Foundation Part II, the well digging, and for opportunities in August to help us raise walls!

Mr. Bingley at the home site

Mr. Bingley at the home site

 

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4 thoughts on “Breaking Ground: building our foundation

  1. So happy for you and proud to call you my grandchildren. Also happy to hear that you get to go to Deep Creek. What a beautiful place to rest and be peaceful. Love to your Grandma, too. This is so exciting!

  2. Thanks, everyone! This project can be overwhelming but we are pleased with the progress, know it will be worth it, and are quite proud of ourselves.

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