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Old 04-27-2013, 08:41 AM   #1
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My new home build


The Driveway comes first...

Before we get to far ahead of ourselves the obvious comes first. Not much can be done without a driveway in place. My father-in-law offered up his services to give us a hand with the driveway. He enjoys running the bulldozer and he is good at what he does. We closed on the mortgage in mid-March and it was time to get started. Before we could call the Excavator TO the site we needed to provide some stable ground to get him ON the site.

My father in law showed up and started pushing off some snow in order for our work to begin. Unlike years past - this winter was tough to shake. As our luck would have it, old man winter didn't leave without a fight.

Once the site was clear my wife and I mapped out our driveway. We wanted somewhat of a curve into it rather than a straight shot from the road. We staked it out the way we envisioned it and my father in law returned to cut it out with the dozer. We think we'll like it.

After the driveway was "cut-in" we decided to purchase some driveway fabric. I didn't initially plan to use it but was persuaded by a couple people whom deal with it everyday. I don't think we'll be sorry. We purchased it from the local contractor supply store and they delivered it to our doorstep without a fuss. We utilized a local trucking outfit to bring some of their gravel from their own gravel bed. While they were dumping material, my father-in-law pushed it off with the dozer while my mother-in-law cut the fabric. We're really fortunate to have their help. Especially while we are both working to pay for this project.

Either way, we felt the local trucking companys gravel will provide a good base for a lesser cost than getting it from the local quarry. The base of the driveway was filled in at about 8-10" (inches) thick. Down the road when we're ready to finish up the driveway we'll get some "Driveway mix" from the quarry to "pretty it up".
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:54 PM   #2
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Stake the house and CLEAR the site!
After we had the driveway in place it was time to schedule our Excavator to the site. We hired out the Excavating for obvious reasons (he is my wifes uncle) but he also is really talented at what he does. But with any good, talented contractor comes a back logged schedule. He had a few home sites to get to before ours. This was fine though. It gave us a couple more weeks to comb over the plans and grind out some last minute changes. In the meantime - boy did it rain. During this time he had to push us off a couple extra days because of the rain. But we felt fortunate that it wasn't our home site that was "opened up" to take on all the rain.

The weekend before the excavator was slated to start he came out on a Saturday morning and we walked the site to stake out the house and discuss the many questions that I had. I've never been to afraid to ask stupid questions and I am sure he knows that by now. In my profession, I know how it can be to answer some goofy questions but I also understand that there is no way of knowing without asking. He was very helpful making sure I understood everything.

Before we were completely ready for him to start, my father in law saved him some work by clearing off the site, stripping the valuable top-soil. That way the excavation contractor didn't need his dozer on site. He could just bring his excavator and get to work.

I came home from work to see the dozer busy at work.

Next up - we break ground!
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:02 PM   #3
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Excavating Begins - we've got a hole!
Our excavator showed up bright and early on Tuesday (April 23) to start digging. Four years ago when we bought this land we knew the day would come but it was surreal that the day finally came. Definitely an exciting time for us. It was great to see the ground being "broke" officially.

By the time I got to the site after work they had the basement opened up and started on running the drainage to the back of our site.

When he cut into the land there was some water that migrated to the surface. By starting the drainage we were able to get rid of a lot of the water to keep the hole from becoming a "mud hole". With one of my self proclaimed "stupid questions" I learned that the concrete contractors are used to having some water to work in when they arrive to install footings.

Working away from the hole - we continued to cut the trench and we began laying pipe to start the drainage.

Since I was out of work for the day and they were still plugging away it didn't take long for me to get to work so in the trench I went to install pipe and stabilize it with some of the loose dirt off the banks. This saved our contractor the time of jumping in and out of the excavator.

By the end of the day we were able to run the drain pipe all the way out to daylight and begin the backfill.

Backfill of the trench is complete and we're ready for footings to be installed!
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:59 PM   #4
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Subscribed. Hope you keep updating.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:02 AM   #5
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I'm following too. What kind of house is it? Where is it? What are the plans for heat, insulation, solar??? dorf dude...
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:35 AM   #6
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Hey guys. It will be a two story "Colonial" style.. Located in Central NY.. We are going with a typical LP high-efficiency boiler with radiant on the first floor, baseboard on the second. We are on a budget so we are subbing out only select trades..

10" x 20" reinforced footings are installed.
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Old 04-28-2013, 07:43 AM   #7
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We are going with only the best insulation, spray foam..

Just because of budget constraints we aren't using solar/wind/geothermal... I'd love to go with a geothermal system but I just can't justify the added expense...We are still young and will be raising a family in this home so down the road we can add the geothermal.

After the footings were installed my wifes uncle (the excavation contractor) came back and helped us with the drain tile and stone. The drain tile runs the perimeter of the footings, both inside and outside, and ties in to the green "out-feed" pipe that we installed in a previous post.
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Old 04-28-2013, 08:23 AM   #8
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I see you are in CNY, good to see the house build, neighbor.
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Old 04-28-2013, 09:11 AM   #9
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No basement? I thought everyone there had basements?
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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You better double check on that spray foam insulation. There is a massive lawsuit coming forward against some of the manufacturers. The homes have become toxic and it can't be removed. I almost used it but it is not readily available in Germany. Here's the link. http://www.sprayfoamlawsuit.org/
I'm not a fear spreader or "The Sky is Falling" type of guy. Time is telling it's tale with this product. Of course there are different types and not all of them are having problems. Do some research before you spray it. dorf dude...
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by shumakerscott View Post
You better double check on that spray foam insulation. There is a massive lawsuit coming forward against some of the manufacturers. The homes have become toxic and it can't be removed. I almost used it but it is not readily available in Germany. Here's the link. http://www.sprayfoamlawsuit.org/
I'm not a fear spreader or "The Sky is Falling" type of guy. Time is telling it's tale with this product. Of course there are different types and not all of them are having problems. Do some research before you spray it. dorf dude...
With all due respect - you are not well informed in regards to this lawsuit. To tell you the truth I have been working for an installer for the past 5+ years. When I started we had one spray foam rig and we have since grown to four rigs. I have seen my fair share of projects and I have been around my fair share of SPF chemicals and manufacturers. What it comes down to is the simple fact that ANYONE can be a spray foam installer. Just like anyone can call themselves a carpenter, a painter, a roofer, and unless you're doing business in some townships or cities, you can be an electrician and a plumber if you so choose. All without having any credentials that says you are cut out for the job. The spray foam industry has no place for the "weekend warrior". If you want to buy a trailer to pull behind your pick-up and call yourself a spray foam company that is fine. However, you shall not have the ability to purchase any kind of chemicals/materials until you are factory trained, until you are accredited by the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) and until you have proof of insurance. Because the truth of these lawsuits are - the product wasn't installed right. And we hear about it all to often. I am now an Estimator/Project Manager for the company I work for - I also have been chosen to be the one who hires the guys that we put on our job sites. We run our guys through extensive health/safety training so they are well versed with the complexities to a proper install. We visit the job site and make sure the application is going as planned. And - to be honest - if we have a problem, we jump at it.

Long story short, if we didn't have a solid workforce with knowledgeable guys, and didn't take the necessary precautions that all spray foam contractors should then we could very well be a part of these lawsuits.

A good message to homeowners out there -- don't be cautious of SPRAY FOAM, be cautious of who is installing it!
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:02 AM   #12
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No basement? I thought everyone there had basements?
We gotta get there yet...
Here the walls have been formed.. We're ready to pour on Monday.

The contractor I use is one of the only concrete guys in the area that uses Aluminum forms. They are 3'0" wide and although they are heavier, they go together much easier than the typical forms. They also provide a cleaner look then the typical 2'0" wide steel/wood forms that most use.

My contractor is known for some beautiful work and I think his forms have a lot to do with it.

We originally were planning on 8 ft. basement walls. But we have a walk-out where we intend to pull in my snowmobile or sub-compact (a garage isn't part of the build). I also am a hobby wood worker and intend to use the basement as my shop. As it turns out there isn't a lot of added cost from going to a 9ft. basement as there is the same amount of work involved setting forms. The added cost is basically the concrete. So - we went with 9 ft and I don't think we'll be sorry.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:05 PM   #13
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With all due respect - you are not well informed in regards to this lawsuit. To tell you the truth I have been working for an installer for the past 5+ years. When I started we had one spray foam rig and we have since grown to four rigs. I have seen my fair share of projects and I have been around my fair share of SPF chemicals and manufacturers. What it comes down to is the simple fact that ANYONE can be a spray foam installer. Just like anyone can call themselves a carpenter, a painter, a roofer, and unless you're doing business in some townships or cities, you can be an electrician and a plumber if you so choose. All without having any credentials that says you are cut out for the job. The spray foam industry has no place for the "weekend warrior". If you want to buy a trailer to pull behind your pick-up and call yourself a spray foam company that is fine. However, you shall not have the ability to purchase any kind of chemicals/materials until you are factory trained, until you are accredited by the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) and until you have proof of insurance. Because the truth of these lawsuits are - the product wasn't installed right. And we hear about it all to often. I am now an Estimator/Project Manager for the company I work for - I also have been chosen to be the one who hires the guys that we put on our job sites. We run our guys through extensive health/safety training so they are well versed with the complexities to a proper install. We visit the job site and make sure the application is going as planned. And - to be honest - if we have a problem, we jump at it.

Long story short, if we didn't have a solid workforce with knowledgeable guys, and didn't take the necessary precautions that all spray foam contractors should then we could very well be a part of these lawsuits.

A good message to homeowners out there -- don't be cautious of SPRAY FOAM, be cautious of who is installing it!
I was just bringing up the point of some issues with the installation of the foam. I'm glad your up on the issues and are aware. Now all that read this will also be aware too. I was told so many times by the locals that I could not do things the way I planned. I did it anyway and it has worked out with great results. Good luck with your build. dorf dude...
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:50 PM   #14
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Interesting draintile by the footings, is it sch. 35 leach field pipe? Can't say I've seen it turned down into the frost wall like that too often either.

Regardless, the build looks good so far, plenty of clear stone for drainage.......

Good luck with the build, and you'll be perpetually happy that you went with 9' walls.......
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Old 04-28-2013, 06:43 PM   #15
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Interesting draintile by the footings, is it sch. 35 leach field pipe? Can't say I've seen it turned down into the frost wall like that too often either.

Regardless, the build looks good so far, plenty of clear stone for drainage.......

Good luck with the build, and you'll be perpetually happy that you went with 9' walls.......
Yes, schedule 35. We have a walk-out going in the back. So we put in drop footings going 6 ft. to the left and 6 ft. to the right of the walk-out. The drainage is running the length of the footings, including the drop footings.. The outfeed pipe is at the height of the drop footings. Surprisingly even after 5 days of digging the hole the outfeed pipe is still draining water.

When I waterproof the outside of the basement walls we'll waterproof all the way down to the footings. In this case, that would include the drop footings - all water will be directed down the wall to the footings where the drain tile will catch and take it where it needs to go.

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