Getting started on our house

We are getting started.

It has been a few days since I have written a post. They have been busy days.

getting started

Our temporary home

We moved our motor home to our site and have set it up for the summer. This was a bit of an adventure in itself. We suffered a breakdown about halfway here, and we were forced to get a tow for the last portion of the trip.

Not as simple as it sounds. It is not possible to tow these units in the conventional sense. They have to be loaded onto a tractor trailer unit, and hauled, with all wheels up.

Fortunately we had an Alberta Motor Association membership. They arranged for the tow, and paid all the costs. We only had a two hour wait, which is pretty good, considering it was a Sunday. It is really worthwhile to belong to this organization, if you drive these big units. Towing costs are very high.

Living on site is almost like visiting a campground, but we have more privacy, and the cost is lower. We are quite comfortable.

Progress, as always, is slow for the first stages of our build, but we are getting started. In the last week, we received approval for the required sewer extension, but have not yet received our development permit. Alberta first call has been contacted by our excavation contractor, and some companies have already marked the underground services in the area. Installation of the sewer and water services, and the crawl space excavation, should be able to proceed as soon as the development permit is received.

The development permit is also required to apply for building permits. I am going to spend this weekend reviewing these applications, and double checking the material lists. That is, as soon as I get our income tax filed. Only a few days left for that.

I have staked out the location for the excavation, and marked where the water/sewer connections are required. I also determined the depth of the excavation, and determined the elevation point, so we should be ready to go.

There is still snow in spots, but it is disappearing rapidly. There does not seem to be any significant frost in the ground to interfere with digging. This is the result of an early, and heavy, snow cover, coupled with relatively mild winter temperatures. Of course it is a very late spring. We had our first day yesterday where a coat or jacket was not required when outside.

Our next steps will to be apply for building permits and to get framing package quotes.

Once the excavation is done I can form up the footings for the foundation walls. Extreme care needs to be taken at this point. It is good to have an almost perfectly level footing ( within ¼ inch tolerances overall). It also needs to be close to square, so that the same tolerances can be maintained for square. on the foundation wall. The closer to perfect here, the easier everything will work as we go forward.

anchor for getting started

Anchor bolts

I am planning on a two foot wide strip footing, as I believe that it will be placed on sand, and will require a little wider footprint for stability. A single story wood frame building, with a preserved wood foundation, does not exert a lot of weight, so I believe this will be more than adequate. It will be reinforced with three rows of steel. The steel provides little protection against uneven settling but does prevent separation and spreading if the footing should break. I don’t believe this is likely, but always better to overbuild if the cost is not high.

I have decided to secure the foundation to the footing with ½ inch expanding anchor bolts. It is a little easier to keep everything straight with this method. It is a little slower, as a hole must be drilled in the concrete for each anchor.

As usual, the initial steps for a project and getting started is the most time consuming. It is, however, happening, and I will keep you posted

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