Thursday, November 29, 2007

Like a rock...

Well, it's been 9 days since the last post and we've reached a MAJOR milestone. Are you sitting down? We have a slab! The P.O.T.S party...Party On The Slab...which we've been planning for over a year will now actually happen. I've included a few pics below of the slab going in and the pump truck they had to use to place the concrete. Don't worry, you'll see more of the pump truck as the ICF blocks get filled...more on that below. I'll put a few more up of the completed slab in a couple of days. A few interesting points of note. It took 6 full trucks of concrete to provide all the concrete needed for the slab....this does not include all the concrete that was used to pour the piers that are under the slab. The ICF block will begin getting stacked next week. We're going to the contractor showroom this week to look at flooring since our house has to be built differently than most others. On wood frame construction, you simply frame up the whole house at one time. With ICF, you stack the blocks for the first floor and then pour the walls full of concrete...ICF contractor (Matt) leaves. Framers show up and put the floor trusses between the 1st and 2nd floor. These trusses give the ICF contractor a platform to then stack the blocks for the second floor. Once the second floor blocks are stacked and poured full of concrete, the framers come back and put in the floor trusses for the 3rd floor. Matt (ICF guy) comes in and stacks the blocks for the 3rd floor and pours them full of concrete. At this point, Matt / ICF is done. You can see that there will be A LOT of concrete in the house. Once Matt and his guys are done the framers come in and put on the roof, frame up all the inside walls, install the windows, and begin drying the house in. But I'm jumping ahead. BONUS: I was able to grab a picture of the elusive Gail...the project manager responsible for building our house. Great woman to have on your side when dealing with sub-contractors. Enjoy the pics...feel free to post comments!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

We have pipe....

Two day...we've set a new record. In addition to the earlier post today, the plumbers were able to come out and get all the rough in plumbing done in one day. Additionally, we got two calls from our builder today and neither of them cost us more money. Tomorrow the city is coming out to inspect the plumbing. UPDATE 11/21 : We got a green sticker from the City of Houston...we passed the plumbing rough in! Woo Hoo! If you look very close, you can see our lime green tag on the tallest pipe in the picture on the left...Sandi is standing in what will be the back of the garage. The foundation company will continue their work preparing the rebar and getting ready to lay the slab. Gail told us today that we should have a slab in the next few days. The other pic is of the rebar that will go in the poured slab beams. Barring, weather delays, we'll be having P.O.T.S. (Party On The Slab) next week sometime. According to Gail we are currently 5 days ahead of schedule. Our ICF (insulated concrete form) contractor has scheduled to have his materials arrive on 11/26...and should be getting started shortly thereafter. As a side note, our neighbor Lauren loaned Gail some juice for her laptop. A very simple but generous expression. OVERALL MOOD TODAY: Thumbs UP!

Ground has been broken!!

It's been about a month since my last post. Surprisingly, we've made LOTS of progress...but not without a couple of surprising expenses. In the pics for this post, you can see that they've started framing up the slab and cutting in the beams in the slab. Last week they put drilled for the piers that support the slab. This is where one of the surprise expenses came from. Turns out that our engineering firm Interfield Engineering based their slab plan on only a preliminary soil report and never asked for the final report. No big deal except that when they went to drill for the piers the instructions sent them 1 foot too deep...causing them to hit water. The surprise expense came because we had to get a soil engineer onsite that day to provide options. All went well and we were able to get the piers drilled and poured. The other surprise expense came from the fact that we were told that we needed to tear down the garage prior to the lot being graded. Now that the garage is gone and the lot has been graded, I'm not sure why there was such a rush on it.
Moving to today... When I went by this morning, the plumbers were there to get started on getting the plumbing into the slab. I saw a lot of rebar there, so I'm assuming they will putting in the rebar this week or next. Gail did let me know that Matt (the ICF contractor) will be starting his part of the job on December 6. That will be when we officially start going up. Stay tuned!