Monday, October 21, 2013

Cabin part 3: Covering the masonry work

We came back a week after the masonry work was completed, to put pebble board on the ICF walls and to install the drainage system around the foundation. The pebble board is bumpy panels of heavy plastic that protect the styrofoam from the onslaught of the backfill, and also help with the waterproofing. We had to work down in pits alongside the bottom of the foundation to install this stuff, and the sides of the pit were less than stable. These photos are pretty boring, but they're a record for us, so y'all can just whizz by them. The shot below left shows the ICF walls with a black poly coating on them (put on by the masons to protect the styrofoam); to the right, you can see the first course of pebble board we put in, held in place by metal clips that we screwed into the ICFs. You can also see the white drain tile snaking along the bottom of the pit; this will be buried by the backfill.

OK, enough of that! The shot at left shows a truly thrilling pile of pea gravel (washed rock) that is destined to cover the drain tile--the white tubing. What's interesting about this--and you know there has to be some bizarre factoid about it--is that the pile of rock apparently weighs something like 14 tons. Yup, it's all gotta get moved down into the open area next to the footings. And over the course of the day, we moved every darn pound of it, one way or the other. Some of it, twice.

We did have help getting the gravel down into the pit, but it was still a huge amount of shovel work. Gale, the excavator we worked with, was up on top in the parking area using a Bobcat to dump loads of gravel down into the pit, while Bruce and I stood down there (jumping out of the way as appropriate) and then shoveling and pushing it around to cover the drain tile evenly.

Some of it had to be carried down in 5-gallon kitty litter buckets because the Bobcat could not get to the east side. At left, you can see me shoveling some of it into a bucket, getting ready to carry it down the steep hillside and dump it into place. I carried (and dumped) about 15 buckets of this stuff to the east side. By the end of a very long, hard day, we had the gravel down in the pit alongside the structure. We were able to put up some more pebble board.

After the gravel was down, we had to cover it with a layer of gauzy landscape fabric, to keep the dirt and sand from filtering into the clean gravel. Then Gale started the backfill process--dumping and pushing sandy, gravelly fill on top of the fabric-covered pea gravel. It is quite a process, and one about which I knew nothing before this. And I don't want to learn any more! Below are a few shots of our little beauty, with its walls covered in pebble board and the backfill coming along nicely.
Next installment... carpentry to finish the lower level!

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