Breaking Ground on the Foundations!

So our excavator, F! predicted that he would be able to do our foundation work early last week. Of course, the weekend before it rained for four straight days, and I suspect this put his schedule way out of whack.

Thankfully, Saturday evening we received a telephone call informing us that he was going to work on Sunday to take care of it for us! We were super-excited!

Sunday was also Donna’s birthday – Mummu treated us to a really delightful wifesaver breakfast, one of my favourites! After breakfast, Mummu didn’t let me do the dishes, so I headed off to the local gravel pit to sulk – and get an extra load of gravel in anticipation of mixing concrete for my footings.

It was with great excitement that we heard the rumble of F!’s machine coming up the driveway about 11:30 on Sunday morning. We consulted briefly about the order and scope of operations, and then he was off! First priority was the sauna. Grandpa wisely (hmmm, Freudian slip? I originally typed “Grandpa wifely suggested”…) suggested that we have F! do the sauna first, so that if anything went wrong, we could at least proceed with working on the sauna and F! could deal with the other situations on a less pressing schedule.

It wasn’t an issue though, F! managed to scrape off the rock in an hour or two, and we set to work cleaning it a bit more with shovels and push broom.

Grandpa grabbed a number of 1″x4″ boards from my board pile, and we cut them to size for the sauna footings and screwed them together. Working with a pair of levels, we managed to position and satisfy ourselves with a good location for the sauna.

Meanwhile F! cleaned up our rejected well spot from last summer, and turned it into a nice, deep, small pond. I am thinking of adding a few goldfish for interest and to keep down the mosquito population. We’ll see how that works out.

After F! finished with the pond, he headed back up to the main cabin site, and there managed to give me half a heart attack as he pushed over a fully grown jackpine, and then tried to pick it up and move it out of the way with just his backhoe. I’m sure his tractor tipped to 45 degrees before he aborted and readjusted his grip on said tree. He persisted, and managed to get that tree out of the range of our cabin footings.

We had to adjust the location of the cabin by a few feet here and there, and will likely continue to do so, as we discovered that the spot we felt to be nice, flat Canadian Shield, actually did have a number of deep hollows in it.

Finally F! dug a trench from the sauna site to the cabin site. This was to allow me to bury a water and electrical line. As an added blessing, he was able to go quite deep with most of this trench. He even hit deep frost, and a higher level of standing water than the pond. This should hopefully go a bit of a ways to helping keep our water flowing from the tank in the sauna to the cabin. I am currently planning on running as large a flexible pipe as possible between the two buildings, and then running two 120V lines, 1″ flexible pipe, and heat cable through that. That should allow me room to run a future electrical line if need be, or replace the water line if need be. It should also protect all those lines from the backfill when I cover them up again.

After naming a very fair price for his work, I gladly paid him and sent him home. We puttered a bit and then Mummu and Grandpa came over for a celebratory barbeque.

Later, we returned to Mummu’s to enjoy more of Donna’s birthday with cake and fellowship.

That night, we fell asleep with visions of buildings dancing in our heads!


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