Thursday, April 10, 2008

Trench finished, septic coming, planning the foundation

David measured the distance along the trench the other day at 415 feet, of which about 25 hasn't been dug yet, so it looks like I dug about 400 feet in under 20 hours with the Kubota. That's 20 feet an hour, which is either really pathetic or really great - I have no idea which, not being a professional.

I haven't blogged about it in a while because it's been mostly routine. But at this point the trench goes from David's office all the way down to the trailer, with about an eight foot gap between the trailer and the end of the trench. I don't think I'm going to extend the trench at all by the trailer until the foundation's in - where it is is fine for a temporary installation. There's a bit more work to do up at David's office, because it turns out that I started the trench at the second flag from the junction box, instead of the first flag, and that was a difference of ten or fifteen feet.

We've got a pretty clear idea of where everything's going on the site at this point. We're going to put in a 1500 gallon septic tank and about 240 feet of leach lines, in three trenches. The septic will go fairly close to where the trailer is now, and will handle the output of as many as three houses - ours, a casita we're building, and another casita that a friend may build. It looks like the septic's going to come in a hair under $5000, which is a bit more than we'd budgeted for a 1000 gallon septic system, but I think worth the extra cost.

I do not yet have quite enough information to dig the foundation, but it's very close at this point - I think we will be able to start digging in another couple of weeks, and hopefully do the first pour toward the end of May. Right now, the plan is to do three pours - a footing, a stem wall, and a slab.

I keep feeling tempted to do a monolithic pour, because it'd be fewer trips with the cement truck, and because it's what everybody does in Arizona. But I haven't done a foundation this complicated before (I haven't done a foundation at all by myself before!), and the advantage of doing it in three steps is that I don't have to have everything perfect all at once, and each step will be a lot more straightforward. Maybe after the foundation for the casita and the main house are done, I'll feel confident doing a monolithic pour next time - we'll see. I suspect these two foundations will not be the last that I do.

By the way, if you're into saving the world, there are some interesting articles linked from the ResearchBlogging site that I thikn are worth reading, in the "Recent Interesting Articles" box to the right. ResearchBlogging is a fairly high intensity feed, and so I never read all the articles that I could on it, but a lot of really good stuff comes up. A lot of blogs are just people talking about their speculations, prejudices and (if you're lucky) experiences. So I think it's really valuable to read some things that are actually grounded in research from time to time...


Blogger Will Shetterly said...

Possible future post: why septic tank instead of composting toilets? (I haven't researched this, so I'm curious.)

Friday, April 11, 2008 1:00:00 AM  

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