Monday, October 20, 2008

The Curving Basement Wall goes up

The wall continues up, showing the curving wall. The basement will house the composter for the toilet, solar hot water and electric controls, and a root cellar.

Above, you see the rounded final shape. Windows will be placed here to provide some light and air circulation in the basement. (this north end is only marginally underground.)

Above, you see that most of the cinder block structure will be invisible. The rest of the house will be built to the right (east) of that section of the house. More to come soon.

Monday, October 6, 2008

The digging begins.

In mid August, 2008 we began digging the rubble trench for the end of the house that will have a basement.

Linda by the curved north wall that will be our bedroom.

Tons of gravel were laid and compacted in the trench, providing drainage and a foundation. We are trying to use as little concrete as possible since it creates so much CO2, a major global warming gas. On top of the gravel we built a frame (see above with Linda in the house) to create a small grade beam (see beam below) to take the full weight of this section of the house.

The grade beam (above) is concrete, reinforced with rebar. We had to use some concrete to pass code and hold the house up. On top of the grade beam we will place standard block (piled in photo above) to make a small basement.

In the picture above, longtime Charles Town resident and foundation foreman, John Edmonson lays block. After this wall is in place, we'll dig the rest of the foundation and begin placing the posts and beams to make the actual structure of the house.

The Posts and Beams arrive!

We ordered posts and beams from a small mill not too far away. Above, posts and beams as large as 8x12 by 16 feet long are placed on pallets to dry. Below are a few more photos of placing the timbers to allow them to dry. Since the largest beams weigh nearly 1000 pounds it was no small job to move them even a few inches.

Scot and Linda discuss moving the beams apart.

Above, Scot sits on the larger beams.