Monday, January 18, 2010

A Foundation

On Christmas Eve we had a crane at the site and were madly scurrying to get our timbered floor system installed. The day after Christmas we busted out to get the first floor decking down and then cover everything with some bomber plastic to be snow-proof for the foreseeable future.
Interestingly it was a struggle to get the concrete guys to form up the concrete the way we planned. Since the site is sloping they felt the best choice was to have a taller front wall (i.e. more wood siding, less concrete on the south side). Their opinion was that this approach would be building with the site. Our plan was to use the large quantity of rock from the site clearing to build rough retaining walls in front of the south wall so that there would essentially be a level site and could then have a two story wall, rather than a three story wall. It is my opinion that building with the site also has to do with the overall aesthetic of the building and that on this site a three story wall as you approach would not fit in with the cozy forested setting. We also had to argue to have the house oriented to solar south. The people building the forms for the concrete are used to just making them fit the hole. Since the hole is larger than the actual foundation, there is some wiggle room for laying out the foundation.
While in general we are trying to make economically minded decisions (no dormers, minimal corners, wood heat) it is also important to us to make decisions that reflect our aesthetic preferences. This experience with the concrete subs was another argument for having a well thought out plan in advance that you can stand behind in critical moments.

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