We broke ground on July 29, 2010, and there has already been lots of progress and surprises. First thing's first; here is the state of the lot after about one day of digging.
And here are pictures as of today, July 8. The footers are poured, and the outline of the building foundation has been poured, as well. For the first time, we can see the shape of the building on the lot!
A full web album can be seen here.
Now on to the surprises. On the positive side, we were able to recover a significant amount of storage space in the mechanical room in the northeast corner of the building. We originally stepped the foundation in this area to avoid the permitting issues of cutting too deep along the property line. However, our geotech PanGeo was able to make the call in the field that the soil could handle a straight cut, which is easier to do and gave us more storage space!
On the negative side, the survey was surprisingly off, and the slope of the lot was more than expected. This photo includes a person, which gives a good height reference of how deep we dug at the back of the lot.
There are a number of consequences:
* More dirt had to be dug out.
* The change in grade from our entryway to the neighboring property is more than expected. This means we need to do more than planned to manage the grade, and depending on the cost, we're considering pouring a concrete retaining wall on the east side.
* The window in the studio/office will have to start higher than expected to be above grade, so it will be just two feet tall ending at the ceiling. This means it won't be an egress window, so the office can never be considered a bedroom.
* The foundation is lower than we visualized when originally looking at the lot, so the view from the third floor might be more screened than expected.
* The driveway will be more tilted than expected. Because of this, permeable pavers won't work as well, and we have to switch to a poured driveway that can be more carefully contoured.
All of this is handleable, though, and Logan's Hammer and our architect are being great in adapting to the changing conditions.
Finally, I plan to include all of my product choices in this blog, so here is the first that will be installed. We needed four recessed outdoor lights to be installed in the concrete stairs. I ordered this very simple, inexpensive black light from lightingdirect.com, with the added benefit of 12% Bing cashback! I'm going to try and order as much as possible before the Bing cashback program ends July 30.