Monday, May 14, 2007

Dirt work day 3

Things progressing nicely. Today I had them make the garage pad, which there was some misunderstanding about apparently. I had mentioned it to the contractor but he didn't know I wanted it now. Doing it later would have been a waste. They would have to dig up the tailings (driveway base material made from mining leftovers), not to mention bring in equipment another time.

Marcy is standing here about 5 feet above the original ground level, which under the garage had to be built up with compacted gravel. You can only build on undisturbed soil or compacted gravel. Digging down to undisturbed soil would create an 8 foot cutbank (vertical dirt wall) because of the steep slope, so we did gravel. I calculate they brought in about 130 cubic yards of gravel for this, plus more for under the house. The gravel drains so well we can just build a slab for the garage, which is the cheapest type of foundation but has problems with frost heave if not on gravel. I'm standing at the corner of the house pad, which is on built up dirt, but the houses weight will transfer through concrete-filled sonotubes to undisturbed soil below.

I also had them smooth out the edge of the dirt and pack it down to look better and avoid erosion. It's still really steep, but at least you can walk down it and we can plant meadow grass to prevent erosion.

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