Dirt, dirt, more dirt, and now…. mud

Leaf imprints on the concrete

Truth shall spring from the earth….The excavation for the foundation started this week.  The first step was to break up all the remaining concrete driveway around the perimeter.  While climbing around on the pile of broken concrete, Natalie found many leaf imprints which had been made on the underside of the concrete driveway when it was poured – an excellent find for a budding paleontologist.  We found and matched leaves from the local trees to as many of the imprints as we could.  Strange stuff keeps getting found during excavation, like mysterious

Natalie wishes she could find the keys

underground wires, large ancient tree roots for trees cut down more than 50 years ago, and old septic tanks, but these mysteries simply get stacked off to the side, and work continues.

After breaking up and hauling away the concrete, the footprint for the house plus an extra five foot perimeter was excavated down 2 feet below final grade, and the dirt was piled up in a new big pile. Then the dirt was brought BACK in to be compacted layer by layer so that it would have just the right characteristics… then on Thursday afternoon, the excavation guys panicked because it wasn’t compacting correctly.

Paul and Natalie play excavation

So we called the soil engineers who had specified this whole overly labor intensive and complicated process in the first place, and their solution was water – the ground was too dry, so we needed to water it to get it to compact properly!

So…. remember that last blog post about how precious a resource water is, and how much we need to preserve it, etc. etc.?  All out the window.  We had sprinklers going, watering the dirt to make nice compactable mud.

At least Natalie got to get niiiiice and muddy

Natalie’s field of mud

while skipping around in the mud field that one day will be a compacted enough pad to pour a foundation on.  And hopefully because we have done all of this, the foundation won’t crack nestled on all that nice and compacted dirt.

At some point, there will be actual building going on.  Promise.

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