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Monday, June 29, 2015

Day 26 | Floor Joists

House Day: 26
Loan Day: 43

Today Tylutki came in and filled the garage with more dirt and graded out the area behind the garage/house a little more. 

James and his [Amish] crew came out early this morning, 7:30am, and started with the beam posts. Well they got one one, but then realized that the beam pocket didn't line up right on the other. So they had to wait till the afternoon when Cooks could get out there and recut the beam pocket. It was off by about 1 foot! So once that was fixed around 2:30, they certainly worked fast to get the rest of the floor joists in! It's pretty neat to walk in the basement now and can get a feel for how tall the ceilings are. We chose to go with 9 foot ceilings and I already LOVE it!

I bet they will be laying the floor boards tomorrow, as they have moved them over to the house, and that seems to be the next step.

Here you can see the beam pocket to the left, and then actually where it should be. I was a little worried and concerned that half of the beam is not on the concrete, but actually on 2x4's, but I'm assuming they know what they are doing here... RIGHT?! Also, this is where the basement stairs are at and there are footings below this beam, so there will be a weight baring wall right under this, and technically doesn't need a beam overhead. So I guess since thats the case, there will be support under it, then we should be good. 

I'm pretty excited about the basement. We kinda had to plan things out and where we want them so that we could plan the future bathroom plumbing. We will only have two standalone beam posts, and once we finish the basement, it will just be this one. The other will be framed within the bathroom wall. 

This is looking up where the opening for the stairs will be. 

And of course a basement selfie. :)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Day 23 | Framing has started!

House Day: 23
Loan Day: 40

We hired James Zehr and his Amish crew from Dutch Craft Construction of Coldwater to do our framing, siding and roofing. He's great to communicate with and a real hard worker. He got his crew in there as soon as they could! While we wish the basement floor was poured, its not going to hold up the framers. Cook has already said to continue with framing and then they would just pump the concrete in to the basement floor. And because the basement floor wasn't poured, then the beam posts were the wrong size, short by 4". So they couldn't set the beams up today. But they did lay boards down around the perimeter, and also framed the walkout basement wall. They are just leaving it down for now so they can get the equipment in to raise the beam on Monday. 

You can also see that Tylutki came in and did partial backfill around the house. That will help to secure the foam in that we laid against the exterior wall and also for the framers to get in and be close to the house.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Day 22 | Framing materials delivered

House Day: 22
Loan Day: 39

My brother-in-law Dan works for Chelsea Lumber and brought our scheduled delivery of framing materials this morning. We met him at the site. He also took back the left over foam sheets and returned them for credit for us. THANKS DAN!!!

A video posted by LeeAnn Howard (@froggyleggs) on

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Day 21 | Floor trusses delivered

House Day: 21
Loan Day: 38

I called in the morning to see if we were on the schedule today for Cook to pour the basement floor and they said we were, along with a commercial job. Well at the end of the day, they never came by. Which is too bad, because Thursday is suppose to have rain all day. So that means Friday is going to be quite the exciting day at the site. We will have the framers start, Tylutki backfilling and now Cooks/Willbee concrete filling the basement floor.

We did get a little action today though. While I was out there checking, I was pulling out and saw this large truck starting to back up into the drive. So I got out of his way, let him back up the drive and thought I would stick around to see how in the work these materials would be getting off this flat bed.
He even made a slick move of getting in between the left over foam sheets and the treeline. --Oh note to self, or self builders out there... Don't count your walkout basement wall in your total linear footage when figuring out how many sheets you need. We totally counted that whole wall and then was over by 14 sheets. Thankfully Chelsea Lumber is making a delivery tomorrow and can return these for us.

So here he is all set, and getting ready to unload these!

A video posted by LeeAnn Howard (@froggyleggs) on

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Day 20 | Foam board insulation and grading pea stone

House Day: 20
Loan Day: 37

We called early Monday morning to get a Plumbing inspection appt for that day, but he was booked up and couldn't do it until Tuesday at noon. So Tuesday we met for that and it took a whole 5 minutes really. After we left there, we headed to Chelsea Lumber to pick up the 2" x 4' x 8' foam insulation boards so we could put them around the outside of the basement walls. This is per code, to put them on the exterior or interior. We've ready its better in the northern states to lay it on the exterior, and easiest right after waterproofing. It should stick right up against the tar. Cooks had come around 1:00 and was still working on grading the pea stone in the basement floor and would be waterproofing (spraying the tar) on the exterior walls (below grade) before leaving. So we loaded up the trailer and headed to the property to drop it off. 

We came back later in the day when they were done, to un-bundle the foam sheets and lay them up against the freshly tarred exterior. It wasn't as messy as I had thought, but I did wear scrap clothing and shoes just in case. Tony (and the boys) would bring the pieces to me and I would stick them to the walls, one by one. They stuck pretty good for the most part, some we anchored with sticks. When the dirt is backfilled and the final grading is done, then we can cut off the remaining foam that sticks up above ground. 

Now that the pea stone is all graded, the sump crock is in, then Cooks can come out and pour the basement floor. They say we are on the schedule for this Wednesday or Thursday. They better hope so! James will be bringing his crew to start framing on FRIDAY!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Day 18 | Underground Plumbing is complete

House Day: 18
Loan Day: 35

Mike Wood, our plumber didn't have too much more to do on Sunday, just put in the bathroom plumbing for our future basement bathroom. That is this trio that you see right here. The sink, toilet and the shower (L to R). The one against the wall is the 2nd floor bathroom drain that was put in yesterday. It was actually kind of hard to figure out where we wanted our basement bathroom to go. It took some planning and to see where we wanted things to be. Hopefully we will be happy with our decision!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Day 17 | Underground plumbing

House Day: 17
Loan Day: 34

Mike Wood came out Saturday and did most of the underground plumbing. He will finish up the rest on Sunday so that we can have our inspection on Monday. The plumbing that is underground is for the waste drains to go to the septic/drain field. So in this first picture you can see (L to R) the 2nd floor bathroom drain, kitchen drain and laundry room drain. Of course these aren't basement rooms, but that obviously is where things drain down to.  

Friday, June 19, 2015

Day 16 | Wall forms are removed and pea stone is moved

House Day: 16
Loan Day: 33

The concrete only needed to set for 24-48 before wall forms can be taken off. So today they came down. We got to the property when they were just about to leave. So we got to touch base with them about the next step in waterproofing (tarring) the outside basement walls. He said they might come today or Monday. My guess is Monday. We were there from 3:30-5 today and nobody showed. The basement walls though, look great! I'm still amazed at how fast concrete can set within those forms. We still need to wait 7-10 days before framing can go on them. (7 good dry days, or 10 days at most). So we've got a little time to complete the following before framing can be started:

  • underground plumbing (this weekend)
  • plumbing inspection (hopefully Monday)
  • waterproofing outside walls
  • Tony and I to apply 2" insulation sheets around outside of walls
  • also lay landscape fabric down outside walls to keep backfill dirt from mixing into pea stone.
  • pour basement floor concrete
  • backfill partially
Soooo, remember that day we thought was so awesome that they delivered the pea stone?? Well that backfired on us. Because we had to pull back the pea stone away from the dirt so that our plumber could set up the underground drain piping for the septic waste. We actually didn't order to have the pea stone put in last week, Cooks foundation did. And at the time, when we say it being delivered, I didn't think anything of it other than "Cool! We've got pea stone coming in!" I figured they knew it was the next step or something. So here's my first tip for you to learn from our mistake... Don't let them drop pea stone before your plumber puts in the ground work. 

Talk about some labor work, we had to move 8 inches thick of pea stone away from a 2-3 foot clearing. From one side of the basement to the other, and then back to where the kitchen and laundry area will be on the main floor. We met with our plumber this  week and when I told him there was already pea stone, he looked surprised. And since it was something we could do to move it out of his way, then we did, so we wouldn't have to pay him labor to do that. So here it is, our updates for the day. Wall forms off and the pea stone trench is dug.

This drain pipe is just under the footing, the plumber will hook everything up to this so it can lead to the septic waste.

Tony doesn't seem pleased that I wanted a pic of HIM working on it. :P
Front view of the house, garage in the back left.

Aaron approves of the retaining wall next to our walkout basement, with a thumbs up!

Here is the garage, you can see the cut out for the opening for the garage door.

Future back porch here off the great room.