Solid As a Rock

Solid As a Rock

When you build a house from scratch you have to start by clearing the land, grading the property, building a pad, then digging footings, and if that doesn’t sound foreign enough you have to actually know how to do them (not just what those crazy words mean). When you build an addition, preparing the site is not as big of a job as preparing for an entire house and anyone could probably do it (if you can dig a hole that is)…at least that is what Mike told me. I was a bit skeptical (only because I’ve never done it before). After all your house is only as strong and sturdy as your foundation…this seems like a project that should stay outside the realm of DIY.

According to Mike, he’s done it “millions of times” (let’s be honest it was probably 4) and he wants “to do it all myself”.

I was a little worried when it started like this:

rabbit hole_second_story_addition low

As usual, Mike proved me wrong. He’s awesome like that. And turned this:

Into this:
slab forms_second_story_addition low

Yup, I married that man.

Even if you don’t know what you’re looking at, it looks pretty legit, right? Hopefully the city inspector thinks so too…

A little visualization (cuz I’m a visual type of person)

P.s. I’m sitting here at home, waiting for the city inspector to show up. He can come any time between 8 am and 4 pm. If you aren’t busy and in the area, feel free to come by and take a look. Our door is always open…literally. We tore it down last week.

Nuts and Bolts

This part wasn’t very interesting (maybe because I only drilled a few holes myself), but Mike, who drilled over 60 holes into our slab thought I should write about it. I think he should write about it.

Guess who’s writing about it…

Yesterday was “special inspection day”. We had a deputy inspector come out and watch Mike clean, prep, and epoxy everysinglehole. One hole at a time. Does this sound expensive? It is. It’s expensive for a few reasons, one, we have to drill each hole with a hammer drill an average of 12″ into the existing footers and in some places up to 9″ on center – it is all dependent on the shear wall schedule – it’s intense and pointless to go into, but let’s just say, in case of another Northridge quake, I know our walls will not be coming down. Two, we have to fill each hole with an epoxy anchor adhesive that’s price changes more often than gas, it hardens to over 14,000 psi. I’m told it will withstand the apocalypse. Three, we have to pay a “deputy inspector” (guy with a certificate and can charge whatever price he wants) to watch us fill the holes with epoxy and rebar.

After the deputy inspector watches us fill each hole, according to the engineered details on our blueprints, he writes a report we submit with our footing inspection before we can pour our footers and slab. And even before we do that we have to have our engineer come out and check all of our epoxied rebar and the report from the deputy and sign his own report verifying we built it as planned.


Bored enough yet? I wish I could make this more interesting but I.just.can’t.

Here’s some awesome pics.
anchor bolts_second_story_addition
anchor bolts2_second_story_addition
anchor bolts5_second_story_addition
anchor bolts3_second_story_addition

P.S. we passed our “special inspection”.

Now if we can just get all our footers dug and forms up we may be able to pour that slab next week!