Monday, June 28, 2010

Drill Baby Drill!


The Minnie House is, of course, named after my mum, Mina Rapport. Although her family knew her as Mina, her friends called her Minnie, which I think was a very cute name for her. Mum passed away on June 28th 2008 - two years ago today. By December 21st, which was mum and dad's wedding anniversary, I plan to be living in The Minnie House, which will be a living, breathing monument to my mum.

Today the excavations continued, and after I arrived at the site this morning Ken the Excavator began to drill the first of thirty one piers, starting with the eight 15-feet deep piers that will anchor the long, lower retaining wall. The first two piers posed no problems, which was a big relief, and Russ the Geotechnical Engineer seemed more than satisfied with the makeup of the rich gold-colored earth that was dug up.

The piers for the foundations of the house will all be between 10 and 12 feet deep (and 18" in diameter), and with any luck all of the piers will be drilled by the time I get to the site in the morning.

The trenches for the grade beams (the horizontal companions of the vertical piers) should also be dug by now, which means that in the next 48 hours we should be able to load the steel cages into the pier holes and grade beam trenches. The cages consist of rebar wrapped in steel. In the case of the piers, the cages are 12 inches in diameter, which means that they will sit in the piers with a three inch gap all the way around.

Once all of the cages are set, the next step will be the fun part: pouring the concrete. With any luck, the pour for the piers & grade beams will take place by the end of this week, before the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Sadly, the hyper-active gophers that live here will soon have to find a new home. For now, they're keeping themselves busy building their own little Minnie houses.

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