I mentioned the rocky areas that we found with the trencher. Mark couldn't stand it...he HAD to conquer it. So he rented another beloved man-toy: a jackhammer. And he cleared out that trench lickety split. He started looking around for other things to pound to smithereens, but had to settle for just clearing the trench.
The next day, the 30th of April, was our red letter GROUND BREAKING (not counting the trenching). Matt Saar, our "dirt work" guy, brought his Bobcat and within a day, had scraped out the footprint of the house, and begun prepping it for the footings. We are using Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs), which are interlocking blocks that have foam insulation on their sides, creating an inner and outer insulating surface. It is part of our goal to have an energy efficient home. We found that one of the concepts for improving efficiency is to have a conditioned (heated and cooled) crawlspace, versus a slab. You run all your ducting in this crawlspace, and this ends up being more energy efficient than running insulated lines through your attic, or other unconditioned space. Aside from saving the world from global warming and reducing our carbon footprint blah blah blah, I like the idea because the floors won't be cold!
Here is Mark, showing how high the floor will be above the ground at one corner of the house. It will be about 5 feet above grade at one back corner, and at grade on the other back corner. We'll have to do some additional grading to slope the ground away from the house on that high end.
And of course, all this moving dirt around creates one more playground for Mae and Abigail (see them heading off in the corner of this picture).
They were SO dirty that evening, I gave them the hose to play with before I'd even bring them in to the bathroom. They are in HOG HEAVEN. I'd show you a picture, but the dirt combined with Abigail's runny nose was not very photogenic. I know this because I took the picture and made the assessment AFTER I looked at it. Another proud parenting moment.