|The Homeowner Wanted Sink on the Clear Side|
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Saturday, February 2, 2013
|Concrete Footer with Rebar|
Construction techniques never cease to amaze me. When I visualize something, I am guilty sometimes of not letting it go and learning through the "baptism by fire" approach of diving right in. These are actual photos of a backyard I envisioned on a hillside with significant sloping topography. The goal was to have a completely flat backyard for the kids to play, while having an incredible hill top view. In order to achieve this, an engineered wall needed to be created. I had plans drawn from a local engineer who estimated the size of the retained load and designed the wall accordingly.
To build this, you must start with a concrete footer. This footer has to be wide enough and deep enough to where it doesn't rock back and forth when soil and water pressure build behind it. It also must have steel emitting from the bottom to pass through the hollow CMU blocks that will be stacked on top like legos when ready. The next step is to have masons install the CMU and when desired height is reached, to fill it with concrete and cap it with what's called a bond beam. Here, you need to make sure that you have adequate drainage below the base of the CMU wall, and have installed some sort of waterproofing system against the back to allow water to drain below. Finally, back fill with proper materials and make sure that you proper slope for drainage. I'll be honest this process at this level was not easy. It took a couple months and costs about as much as a small pool. I think though that things like this are what truly make homes unique and can be worth doing if it completely changes your experience and your budget allows it.
Now let's go build something.
|CMU Blocks Being Installed|
|Finished Product with Graded Base|
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
|Having photographed interior walls is worth its weight in Gold|
I place such a high value on this task because it can really help you out of a jamb later on during the construction process. It's also great for record keeping in case you ever need to get behind walls. This is an actual photograph of one wall section in a home I recently photographed. I usually average about 30-50 pictures and I upload them to our clients project portal so they always have access as well. When you build a wall, there are things like electrical, plumbing, HVAC lines, low volt and in this case a pest control system as well. When you insulate and cover the walls with sheetrock, unless you have the best memory in the world there is a good chance you will be flying blind and cause unnecessary aggravation and expense digging and search for things. I used to really take my time almost like a professional photographer, but over the years I've gotten it down to where this task takes about 10 minutes.
If you are in the middle of a construction project or have any walls exposed in your future, I highly recommend this simple step. You'll be surprised how much you refer back to it.
Now let's go build something.