This weekend we prepared the footing drains. When the structure gets buried, it will be very important to have good drainage away from the house. On the north side, we are using 10’ sections of ridged drain pipe, which is smoother on the inside than the usual flexible “ribbed” pipe. This allows the water to flow better. Of course there are very few straight lines in our house so we had to encourage the pipe to make the curve. (thus the picture above with a heat gun and curved form) We did end up using the flexible pipe in the two bermed areas on the South side. There were just too many corners and bends.
Both the ridged and flexible pipe are covered with a “pipe sock”. This prevents silt from building up in the pipe. Next we will need to cover the pipe with drain rock. This will be easy to do on the north side as it is accessible and the delivery truck can dump it close by. We will have to hand carry the rock around to the south side one bucket at a time. There is a very narrow path to get to the SE side that is not wide enough for a standard wheelbarrow. I made this “BucketBarrow” out of an old wheelbarrow frame.
This weekend we experienced just what summer might feel like. Clear sunny skies and upper 70’s. It was GREAT! and hopefully marked the end of the months and months of cold miserable winter weather. (I’m knocking on wood now)
Taking advantage of the dry spell, we worked on the footing for the NE corner retaining wall. This will be a curved wall starting at about 10’ high adjoining the shell and sloping down to about 4’ high, approximately 12’ away from the structure. This will allow for the slope of the earth berm. In this picture I test fit the fiberglass rebar so I could show Jeff what the curve and angle would look like. Originally there was going to be one column of reinforced concrete at the end of the wall going down 3’ below the footing. But because this wall is fairly close to the edge of the hill, we decided to add a second support column in the center. Having a hydraulic post hole digger attachment for Dozy made light work of digging the holes.
I mentioned in a previous post that we would be using fiberglass rebar in our retaining walls. This is especially important because there is a “cold joint” where the wall meets the house which can have a corrosion issue with steel rebar. Cameron Crawford and the other fine folks at Marshall Composite Technologies, LLC. in Salem, Oregon donated all the fiberglass rebar that we will need for these walls.
While I drilled holes in the concrete edge of our house where we will epoxy set the fiberglass rebar, Jeff drilled holes in a block of wood. No, it wasn’t for practice. He was making a Mason Bee House. Mason Bees are wonderful pollinators, and with our ever growing orchard, we need all the help we can get.
Between helping friends haul away woody debris and attending our neighbor’s annual Russian Easter Brunch, we didn’t get much work done on the house. But I did find the time to work on a fun (but necessary) project. Some of you may recall last year when Dozy broke an axle and got stuck in the middle of our driveway. Long story short, we traded our small utility trailer for one capable of carrying Dozy. Unfortunately neither of our current vehicles is big & strong enough to pull it. We still needed a small utility trailer that we could pull. I lucked on to a free trailer frame and set about this weekend to fix it up. With some salvaged materials (old boat trailer fenders, plywood concrete forms from a friend and pressure treated planks that were laying about), we only had to spend about $40 on some new bolts, a sheet of plywood and a couple cans of spray paint. Et voila! Now we can pick up materials and haul more “Stuff”. We will also use it on our property hauling firewood from the downed trees along our driveway.
While I worked hard on the trailer, Jeff watched from Pugsley, making sure I set the fenders high enough for ample wheel clearance.