Monday, January 7, 2008


We forgot to plan the elaborate ceremony….the hardhats, the gold shovels, the tent and the speeches. We didn’t have any of that. We didn’t even have a camera for pictures! But the groundbreaking happened despite ourselves.

The mid-winter thaw happened exactly on cue. With temperatures well-above freezing, the excavation started. The insulating blankets we had put down to keep ot the frost worked wonders. The 8 - 10 inches of snow on top of them helped a lot too. When we scraped the snow and pulled the blankets, there wasn't a bit of frost in the ground. This is good. It's the middle of January for crying out loud! The numerous brick pavers came up relatively easy, so we are going to be able to stockpile them and reuse them for landscaping later.

We were only able to relish in the thought of our project starting for a few hours before Kevin got a call from our contractor about bad soils. Seems like there is construction debris in the ground where the foundations are to go. Kevin will meet at the site tomorrow with the testing company to check it out. We might need to excavate and remove the bad soils and bring in new to get the proper bearing capacity for foundations. The party is officially over and it appears that we have encountered the first problem.

The plan is for the construction project to take about 5 months, so once the foundations start going in, the project will really start to roll. We have to be ready to make a lot of decisions quickly. In order to get a good bid, we put a lot of time and energy into the drawings. But now as it’s becoming real, we have to finalize product choices. That work usually happens during our night shift- from 9 to midnight (or later!). I can’t imagine how we’d ever get this project done without around the clock internet access!

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