{Series Part 4} House Update: Dirt, Slab, and Plumbing

Hey! It's been a while since I gave you a run down of the great decade-long building adventure. Last we left off we were eyeballs deep in dirt. That has since been smoothed out and the actual construction is under way. In between there we also managed to get ourselves a building loan (in October) which is a post I've had in draft for months. It's coming, one day... but honestly, it's boring and what am I going to show you pictures of? Me signing papers? Maybe I can set the post to music and offer prizes and snacks at the end. That should jazz some people up. Anyway.

Here's the plan as a refresher.  Top pic is the front of the house and the bottom is the right side of the house, looking toward the face of the garage.

Soon after closing, our builder gathered up the plans and some other paperwork to submit to the county to get a building permit. And soon after that were were rejected like a pimply teen on prom night. Womp, womp. Seems that our plans were missing tiny things like a handrail for the couple of  stairs in the garage, a carbon monoxide detector, and some outlets were not labeled GFI (you know, the ones with the little red buttons). I mean c'mon! Can't we just pencil those things in? Nope. We had to get all new plans printed from the architect, get them sealed by the engineers, and resubmitted. Translation: delay. 

A few weeks later with new plans in-hand (Christmas happened to fall in-between), we were approved and got our permit. The first order of business was scraping all of the plants off of the pad that had grown up and digging the footers. Here are the kids working on their dance moves in the living room.

When I pulled up this day I was in disbelief. It had been years and years of visiting this property and only ever seeing the same tress and dirt; Never an indication of a house. But this day was different. It was actually happening! A tear almost made its way out. Almost (I'm not a cryer). On top of that, I could for the first time, see the actual size of the house. It's WAY different than staring at it on a piece of paper. My first impression was that the house is much wider than I was anticipating. We're a little closer to the neighbors than I pictured and did I mention one of them has a rooster? I guess we'll get used to that.

The footers get dug down a foot or so into the ground (I'm sure the depth is different depending on where you live) and then lined with rebar. This is essentially the perimeter of our house and what the outside walls will sit on. Once this was done, we had to have an inspection before moving on.

The same week that the footers went in our shallow well did too. This isn't the well that will act as the water source for the house but just a temporary one for the construction guys. You need water to make cement ya'll.

After the rebar part of the footers passed inspection, they filled them up with cement.

Then, once that's dry, a couple layers of cinderblock go on top of that (which I've learned is called a stem wall). There's Kaley running in from what will be the front door and Austin is no doubt burying some treasure (cement chips, rocks, a cigarette package) in what will be the master bedroom.

At this point we're almost ready to pour the slab. This is the garage.

And the kids have found numerous ways to entertain themselves while we visit the house. The all involve getting filthy, lots of laundry, and several wet wipes in the car. I'm also starting quite the cement rock collection. Just check the cup holders in the car. Beautifully curated I tell ya.

We also had to have a few more trees removed. :( Bummer. Once the footers were in place it was clear to see they were way too close to the house. Several people kept referring to them as "lightning rods". Always comforting. This is one of those unexpected things that causes delays and costs more money. I'm starting to understand why people say construction projects take twice as long and cost twice as much as planned. This is what the side yard looked like after tree removal.

And this is what it looks like now after some fancy dirt sculpting.

And finally, any plumbing and electrical that needed to go into the ground was done and inspected. They got the plumbing done in one day which I thought was impressive. How the heck do you look at a pile of dirt and know where to put the toilet? I guess that's why they're professionals. ;) It's fun to see where the kitchen sink and bathrooms will be. I'm expecting the slab to be poured tomorrow but not holding my breath. The theme of this project seems to be "delay" so if they do... I'll be pleasantly surprised and sure to post really thrilling cement photos for you on Facebook. Here's to flowing cement tomorrow!