Construction Update 4/21

As we start our fifth full week of construction, here’s a quick update with some pictures. As you can see we are almost ready for the slab to be poured. We had a small miss that’s put us about a week behind. The plumber wasn’t able to get a permit because the county did not have a septic design on file. The builder was under the impression that we had a full septic design done, when in reality we only had a perc test performed two years ago when we purchased the property. Of course without a plumbing permit, we can’t lay the pipes that need to go in the slab so not much else we can do.

I was able to get the septic lady out to the site in short order to do the design. When I met her out there they were spreading the gravel base inside the foundation wall. Interesting side note: I narrowly missed out on a good story from one of the guys out there working; all I was able to catch was “..and when I come to…”. Anyhow, she got the design done and filed late last week so hopefully we can get moving again with the plumbing permit. Only one potential wrinkle: the septic field takes up a good portion of the back yard interfering with the future pool location and garden. We have really rich soil in the back, perfect for a garden, but planting on top of a septic field is not such a good idea. We’re going to work with the builder and septic lady to see if we can move it to the front, but I already know from speaking to her that she really doesn’t like the spot in the front.

A more exciting topic of discussion has been under way also. What could be more exciting than waste management you say? Well, big ol’ glass doors. Original plans called for about 24 feet of bifold glass doors in the living and dining rooms. That got cut back to just 13 feet in the living room, and now we might cut some more. This time, not the length, but the type of door. The builder has been working with the local sales rep for Panda to get things spec’d right. Funny how first quotes are always for the Cadillac with all the options. After several back-and-forths getting the right track, frame, etc the cost was coming in about a grand over what we’d budgeted. We put some feelers out to other vendors, La Cantina which we love, very modern, and Windsor. Those options are similarly priced and we have a local sales rep for Panda, so no need to switch vendors.

To get costs where they need to be, actually lower than where they need to be, it looks like we’re going to go with Panda’s lift-and-slide doors instead of bi-fold. You get the same view in exchange for a smaller opening for about 40% less than the bi-fold doors.

I’ll follow up with more information on options for modern bi-fold and sliding doors. In the mean time enjoy some photos of the progress.

L-Block foundation wall
L-Block foundation wall
This is looking directly at where the front door will be.
This is looking directly at where the front door will be.
After the gravel fill was added.
After the gravel fill was added.
View towards the west before the gravel fill.
View towards the west before the gravel fill.
In this little nook we will plant some bamboo.  Here there will be a huge window and to the left is the stair tower that will also have bamboo growing within it.
In this little nook we will plant some bamboo. Here there will be a huge window and to the left is the stair tower that will also have bamboo growing within it.
Some progress while filling the foundation.
Some progress while filling the foundation.
View towards the east
View towards the east
View towards the west
View towards the west
View towards the west.  This is the back-side of the house.
View towards the west. This is the back-side of the house.
Gravel fill partially done.
Gravel fill partially done.
Just behind the stack of block is the footing for the concrete wall that will form the courtyard.  The wall will be poured later to allow for better access to the house during construction and to more easily match up the height of the deck with the 2nd floor.
Just behind the stack of block is the footing for the concrete wall that will form the courtyard. The wall will be poured later to allow for better access to the house during construction and to more easily match up the height of the deck with the 2nd floor.
Preparing for the temporary electric service.  The power company will run a line underground to this temporary meter.  Next to this will be a transformer.  In the foreground is a piece of concrete from an old foundation that had to be dug up.
Preparing for the temporary electric service. The power company will run a line underground to this temporary meter. Next to this will be a transformer. In the foreground is a piece of concrete from an old foundation that had to be dug up.
The trench was dug for the electric line.
The trench was dug for the electric line.
Here, they are nearly finished with the gravel fill inside the foundation wall.
Here, they are nearly finished with the gravel fill inside the foundation wall.
Gravel fill done.
Gravel fill done.
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