Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Gravel in the Basement

Within a few weeks, we should have the basement slab poured. Unfortunately, that meant we needed to prep the basement for the radiant tubing and manifold. We didn't plan well enough in advance, or even know just what to plan for, so we ended up making extra work for ourselves by not telling the foundation subcontractor about our plans for insulating the floor. We will place 2" of rigid foam beneath the basement floor, then wire mesh, and the pex tubing for the radiant system will zip-tie to the wire mesh. Our insulation needs to be flush with the footings in the basement, and then the slab will be poured on top of all that. The excavation/foundation guys filled in the basement with gravel, flush with the level of the footings.

And therein lies the extra work - we needed to remove the top 2" of gravel from the entire basement floor. My dad says you should never do math like this before a project, but I take after my mom, too, so I did it anyway: 2" of depth for 1,000 sq. ft. equals roughly 167 cubic feet of gravel. Using a standard weight of 95 lbs. per cubic foot, that makes about 16,000 lbs. of gravel. Yes, 8 tons. I didn't believe it either, so I did the math again. Ugh... now I know why not to do math before you start working.

The piles of gravel are visible here beneath each basement window. Andy shoveled a lot of it out the windows, and then Chris finished off the shoveling and leveled everything to even things out for all the work Andy did on the roof.
Here's a shot of the basement floor - footings now rise 2" above the gravel. When we put the foam down, it should match up perfectly to the level of the footings, and the slab will be poured right on top of it.

Andy and Mindy started to work on the North wall. We'll get the Typar up, then insulate all of this wall. There won't be much cutting around windows on this wall, so we hope it goes pretty smooth.

Forget snow loads, forget engineering specs, forget building codes... this is the real reason why you need knee braces in your house. :)


sue said...

The hammock looks very inviting!

Oléa Gough said...

Love it, love it, love it. Wish I had one!!

The Wests. said...

Well, well... you'll both just have to come for a visit!

Sue, you're only 2 hours away, and Olea, you're only 34 further than that!