Highlights of Homebuilding

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Strong Foundation

It's amazing to me all the work that goes into making sure that a house's foundation is secure, settled, deep, strong. The time and strength necessary. The equipment, tools, materials. And yet, it makes sense. What's the point in building a beautiful home? buying gorgeous fixtures? choosing quality furnishings? What's the point if you don't take the time and work needed to make sure the foundation is right. It's worth nothing. (great spiritual analogy!)

Today, August 4th, I saw the first (or actually like the fifth) load of dirt being dug from our land. It was quite an experience and I'll be the first to admit that I got just a tad emotional:) Oh, come on:) I just couldn't help it! The Lord has blessed me with a fantastic husband, two beautiful kids, and now, soon, a house of our very own. A place where we can raise our family! Somewhere we will make memories and our children will grow up and talk about where they caught the minnows in the creek; or killed their first turkey; or grew their own little garden; rode bikes through wooded trails; raised a puppy; had a tree fort; a place where, Lord willing, they will always want to come back to. I have always dreamed of living in one place my whole life. To gradually make it the perfect place for us. Where I can strive to be the "virtuous woman". And my man can hunt and build and wrestle with his buddies to his heart's content:) I can't wait.
But before all that can happen, we must have a foundation. Built by the best. The stronger the foundation, the more secure our home.

Well, here's what happened today (and some things yesterday that led up to today). Some pretty amazing things and some funny things:)

As I said earlier our foundation man is a man named Rob Mueller. He brought his family down (16 kids!!) and he and five of his boys went to the land yesterday to square off exactly where our house will be. We had to situate it a little because our house is being built on a slope (we're kind of on a hill). We situated it so we wouldn't have a ten foot wall of block in the back! Anyways, they marked it off with a spray can of paint, showing where the footers will be and stuff. The boys dug, using only a pick axe and shovel, a huge rock out of our lot. (thankfully it was only one of two rocks on our land that needed to be taken out...we were kind of worried about that) Paul was quite impressed. They are the hardest working people I have ever met in my entire life. They don't complain although it got over 105 degrees today (not the heat index!) and they are just grateful to work. After they got the lot marked, Paul and Rob went errand running. They got:

Foundation chairs from Lowe's...I don't really know what they do. Maybe I'll post later what they do.

They called several concrete places and picked the best price of the three. You measure concrete for projects like this in yards. We needed 15 yards of concrete for the footer work. We got a pretty good deal. At least it was under budget:) The concrete was to be delivered today.
They stopped by Lewis Hill Sales (our Amish Lumber Supply Yard) and made a few orders that we would need for today.

That all happened yesterday. Pretty busy. But nothing compared to today!

Our footer digger (!), Mr. James Brown, came out this morning with his mini excavator and started digging our footers at 8:00 a.m. I got to our land about 8:06 with the boys. Elliot got out and immediately started digging holes with his own mini excavator (a spoon). While the footers were being dug, the Mueller men were digging out the piers for where the pillars will be going. The pillars are this:
They span the width of the house (50 feet). There are six of them that are made up of concrete blocks and on top of them lies the beam that is the main weight holder of the house. The footer blocks go along the perimeter of the house and the middle beam goes across the middle of the house. Underneath of course:). So, there's the Mueller men digging, again by hand, the six piers where the block pillars will go, where the beam will lay across! Good luck figuring that out:) If I didn't watch it happen, I would be clueless too:) Maybe I'll copy and paste a Wikepedia thing about it. They'd probably do a better job explaining that than me!
Anyways, that took from about 8 this morning to 3:30 this afternoon. They broke for lunch, which I brought for them.
Here's a couple pics!
Some of the paint line where the footers will be dug.

The mini excavator is doing its job!! Thank GOD for machines like these:)

The Mueller men in the background after they dug out these six piers by hand.

The mini excavator is still working. This was at the beginning of the day. We heard about this man from a guy at our church. He had great prices and didn't dawdle. He got the job done. We also came way under budget with him! Yay!

So after the footers were dug, the concrete truck came and Rob and his boys formed up the footers with lumber (just a temporary measure until the conrete dries, or something:) and poured the concrete and laid the rebar. Rebar is long metal strands that secure the concrete better (I think). Boy, am I a wealth of information. I tried to understand all of what Paul was saying when I asked him what all this was for, but I'm gonna have to write it down because I'm sure he thought I was a dummy when I asked him like twelve times what rebar does. But, anyways, I'll be going over there tomorrow and taking a bunch of pictures of the finished footer work. Friday the blocks come in and the work of laying them will start.

I did tell you that something funny happened today. Paul and I made a quick trip with the boys over to Lewis Hill Sales. It was humorous because the Amish had met Rob yesterday and were quite flabbergasted ( I guess shocked would be a better word) when they found out he had 16 children!! Today they couldn't stop asking us questions about him!! Maybe he is their hero. One Amish man said, "I only have 9!" Like that was a small number or something! But I do have to say that the Mueller family have the best behaved kids I have EVER seen!!! I need to ask that Mom what she does:) But, there was something else that was pretty funny. Our first construction loan check we made out was to Lewis Hill Sales...and it was for the wrong amount! So we had to void it:) hehe. Then after I wrote the second check I saw that instead of it saying "Paul" at the top it said "Raul". Yeah, they messed up our first construction loan checks! How dare!!! Just kidding:) It was pretty funny. I laughed and laughed...Paul didn't so much:) He just got worried that they wouldn't take the check, which they did! So, no worries, hon...it all worked out! He did call the bank though and let them know the horrific mistake they made:) haha

Well, that was the day today...busy and extremely productive! Praise the Lord.

With it being so hot, It would be awesome if you said a quick prayer for the men working out there in it...there are probably men all over this country and world doing the same thing. For you soldier wives, I pray hard for your men over in the Middle East being in this heat all the time. God bless them.

Well, there's the beginning of the foundation work! It should all be done within two weeks. The Lord is good and we've come under budget in 5 out of 6 things!!! Thank God!!

On to build,


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