Thursday, February 12, 2009

I've Always Wanted Waterfront Property

We can't say we weren't warned. Our neighbors had warned us that the City of Falls Church has a high water table, so we planned accordingly with our home design - no expense spared on waterproofing, sump pumps, etc. The one major concern we still had with construction was the fear of the unknown when they start digging - the high water table being at the forefront of our minds. As you can see from these photos, and as determined by the city inspector, there is too much ground water on our lot to simply pour the footers for the house. Also, the soil was too soft in that area. Bartley's crew already had set up the forms for the footers, so that all had to be undone. The good folks at Bartley had a soils engineer on our lot within an hour and he recommended two possible solutions, with one being a far superior one. Needless to say, that's the option we're going with. A geotextile will be installed to provide stability to the soil, then 12 inches of stone will be poured on top of that. This will provide a strong enough base to pour the footers and provide an excellent drainage field for water underneath our entire basement. Yes, it's adding several thousand dollars to the budget, but it raises our confidence that the house will be nice and dry in the basement, which is worth the investment. Hopefully they'll be able to continue work in the next day or so, so the footers can be poured and inspected, then on to the foundation!

The Big Dig

Bartley Corporation, who is doing a lot of the early work for us including excavation and pouring the footers and foundation, started the Big Dig this week! The construction project finally is starting to seem real! See for yourself:

A special thanks to Mrs. Brown who owns the house & lot on the north side of our property (the old house that's for sale) since she gave us permission to use her backyard to store the dirt that's excavated. We'll repay that favor by removing the branches/debris from the trees that have accumulated at the back of her lot over the years, which will improve the appearance of her property.

We're just hopeful that our Big Dig isn't as expensive or fraught with problems like the city of Boston's Big Dig!!!

A Sign of the Times

The professionals who have helped us through this project so far have been absolutely wonderful, amazing, patient, and helpful. This is definitely a team project - we couldn't do it without them. Several have marketing signs in our front yard, which we're proud to display:

Earthcraft - the green program our house will be certified under
Mike Terpak with Access National Bank - our lender.
Aaron Holmes with Cornerstone Building Services - our general contractor.

If you are building, we recommend EarthCraft and Cornerstone. If you need financing, we recommend that you call Mike.