Thursday, February 19, 2009

Swamped, Scraped, Crushed, Ouch


In the past week, we watched that little bit of ground water that you saw in last week's pictures start to rise throughout the entire excavated lot. See for yourself:

The ground along the sides of the lot have settled into the excavated area in some areas, which will require re-pouring of some deck pier footers. We were frustrated by this since Bartley - the excavator and concrete company - plans to charge us again to re-do this work. But they were the ones who took the risk of digging the deck piers before excavating for the house. We're not the excavation experts, they are. So when there was a problem based on their decision, why should we have to pay the cost for it?


As reported last week, we had to hire a soils consultant to look at the lot and make a recommendation that will allow us to proceed with the construction. The best option was to pump the ground water out, scape 6" of mud out, haul that mud away, and then put down a geotextile matting and then 18" of stone on top. 12" for water avoidance & stability + the 6" of depth for the scraped-away mud = 18" of stone.


18" of #57 crushed stone across the size of our excavated area translates to 205 tons. That's more than the empty weight of a Boeing 747 aircraft. The stone will go into our scraped, excavated pit. It then will be compacted. As I understand it, this stone serves two purposes: 1) along with the geotextile, it will create the necessary stability for the footers of the house; 2) it will provide a drain plane for the ground water, allowing the water to stay away from our foundation. That's a great thing.


We expected to run into some challenges and additional expenses while constructing this house, and this sure is an expensive one. We're trying to find ways to save money on this, but the extra $12,000 hit on our budget is not very welcome. Maybe we can do without a roof on the house to cover this extra cost?