Friday, November 23, 2007

Framing starts

This was a great week - they started the framing, and we can now see actual rooms: the garage and lower bedroom as well as their views. The lake has looked beautiful all week as Seattle has enjoyed a gorgeous week of weather. Tonight when we were driving home there was a full moon over the lake that was breathtaking.

We celebrated Thanksgiving with all the family yesterday, and remembered that it was exactly a year ago that Paul came home from the hospital following his car accident. Joy!

Monday, November 12, 2007

We've been floored

This week was exciting because they laid the cement slab, and now we have the look of a real house.

John DeForest, our wonderful architect, suggested that we place an old coin in the slab for good luck, so we placed an old lucky penny right in the front of the garage. Paul's mom, Delphie, used to save the old pennies that are called "wheat pennies" - they have wheat sheafs instead of the Lincoln Memorial on the back side. We also couldn't resist putting our initials in the cement, too.

We have a garage!

Paul and I are thrilled to see the outline of our new garage; although garages were part of our lives growing up in the Midwest, we haven't had one in the thirty years we've been in Seattle!

We are also delighted to see the view from the entry -
We are having a great time watching all the stages of house-building!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Our nest is out of the ground

most of October was spent building the footings and walls for our nest

They waterproofed the walls, (the black line in the photo), brought truckloads of dirt in for the backfill, and stomped it down-

Monday, September 24, 2007

These are the forms all set up for the concrete.

So in comes the cement truck and pourer:

And they begin pouring and filling and smoothing all the cement into the forms for the footings:

Take off the forms and you've got a beautiful foundation! The footings are in place, and next will come the construction of the foundation walls.

Monday, September 10, 2007

We're nearly "out of the ground" which is a big milestone in the process.

All of the pilings have been leveled, and the forms for the concrete footings are made.

Next will come the concrete.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This was a great spectator week.
The crew from McDowell Drilling came and drilled 31 auger cast piles. Lonnie, the "pile buck" for the crew said the hardest part of the project was fitting all the machines on our little plot. There was a huge blue drilling rig with a 40 foot boom, an orange trackhoe, a big pump, and several cement trucks. It was like watching a hippo, and elephant and a gorilla all try to change their clothes in the same closet.
To make each of the auger cast piles, the guys would move the auger drill over the spot, set the "foot" and begin drilling. Each of the piles went down between 27 and 33 feet. A geotech engineer would sample the soil coming out of the ground and decide when the depth was correct. Then the drill operator would slowly begin raising the auger while the cement guy began pumping cement, or "mud", through the hollow center of the auger. As the auger came up, the cement would fill the hole, overflowing as it reached the top. Finally a long steel rod would be lowered down into the hole followed by a round steel "cage" to hold the pile and form the "cast". And then on to the next one.
It was fascinating to watch, but definitely the most dangerous worksite I've ever seen! Everything seemed to be either heavy, caustic, sharp, or swinging. If a guy wasn't holding a chainsaw or pickax, he was holding a steel pipe, cement hose, or sledgehammer!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dirtying the Nest

August 13 -16

This week has been spent excavating the lot, removing truckloads of dirt, and marking the spots for drilling the auger piles.

And every now and then, we look over at the lake and see all sorts of fun things - like this downed floatplane being towed to shore, or this lovely boat cruising past the house.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

For the past week, the big yellow trackhoe T-Rex has been gobbling up the house.

It crunched it into small pieces and loaded everything - all the wood and insulation and windows and eaves - and memories - into dumpsters.

Finally, there was nothing left but the concrete foundation, and one morning even that was gobbled up.

And then it was all gone ----


Thursday, August 2, 2007

Boats, Blue Angels and a big Bulldozer

Today was demolition day, and it also happened to be the first day of Seafair in Seattle. So there were hundreds of boats out on the lake, and an airshow by the Blue Angels right in front of the house!
The demolition crew had the house demolished in a little over an hour; their big bulldozer looked like a giant Tyrannosaurus Rex as it crunched and chewed the house!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

These pictures were taken today; one in the early morning, and the second one in the late afternoon. Apparently, this is the machine that will take down the house! As Maggie and Walt Carr would say, "let the wild rumpus begin"!
Dear friends,

Paul and I thought that making a blog would be the best way for us to share the experience and progress of our Nest-building with all of you. We'll try to add pictures and stories as the weeks go by.

The "cottage" (as we call it) is scheduled for demolition tomorrow (August 2nd); it should happen just about the time that the Blue Angels fly over the lake to start SeaFair.