Preparing to Pour our Footings.

Grandpa returned to our building sites early Monday morning and we added an inner square of 1″x4″ boards to hold in our footings for the sauna. I am planning on using standard 8″ concrete blocks, and because the footings are only about 4″ high all around, we decided we were comfortable with 10″ wide footings. These footings are not at all designed to protect against frost heaving, but just to smooth out the irregular surface of the rock and give it a chance to bond to the blocks.

We added in two, 2″ diameter pipes about 16″ long, to act as conduits for incoming water and outgoing greywater. One of these faced directly at the well. The other pointed at an angle to the well, towards a slope that we were comfortable with the greywater flowing down towards.

On the side facing the cabin, I installed a 4″ diameter pipe, as I plan on putting in a nested series of pipes there to transport water to the cabin, and electricity both from AND to the cabin. (If I decide to run the generator to charge the house batteries, I plan on setting the generator on the far side of the sauna so it won’t disturb us too much.)

I then headed up to our front parking area to begin moving some of my gravel pile from there, closer to our construction site. The weight of the gravel, combined with some soft spots on the driveway resulted in one of my closer calls with tipping the tractor. I called out to Donna to call out to Grandpa to come and help me right the tractor. I was buckled in, and felt that if I bailed, the tractor would continue to tip.

Donna of course, bless her, thought I was only interested in getting photographic evidence of my folly, and rushed over, camera in hand.

Patiently I explained that I was fearing for my life, and could she please get Grandpa to come and stand on the high side of the tractor!

He got me back on four wheels, and I backed out of the resulting gully and took the long way around to the building site without further adventure. I dumped a few loads of gravel, and then it was time to get some cement and the cement mixer.

On the recommendation of Wayne at Howie’s Saw and Woodmizer, I hit up Petersen’s Lumber on John Street Road. They set me up with six bags of cement, and a bit of a comment about how few people bothered to mix their own concrete anymore. This did little to encourage me.

Once I got home, it was determined that Grandpa’s lead on the cement mixer was still missing in action. At last he got ahold of his grand-nephew (I think) and we hopped in to the truck and were off.

The mixer has loads of experience. It appears that it belonged to Grandpa’s father, who used it to make a foundation for his farm house – AFTER it was built! He jacked the whole thing up, dug out a basement, poured a foundation, and then lowered the house. Unbelievable!

Grandpa and I managed to wrangle the mixer up to the building site as the sun was brushing the trees, and he headed for home while I did a bit more digging and cleaning on our cabin site. Finally Donna and Kenny returned from a shower at Mummu’s, and we all decided to come inside for bed.


1 thought on “Preparing to Pour our Footings.”

  1. Loved the part about Donna getting the Camera! haha Hope to see you soon and hear more about your house-building adventures!


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