The weather has turned cold but important foundational work continues. I was really happy that the basement walls were poured while it was still rather mild, just one week later we got our first snowstorm of the winter. Luckily there wasn’t much snow that stuck to the ground in the neighborhood and work was able to continue without hindrance. The outside basement walls were waterproofed with a tar-like material and the two basement windows that will be below ground had their window wells installed. Drainage systems were put in place around the foundation and initial utility connections (water, gas, electricity) to the house were roughed in.

With those important steps complete now the basement can begin to disappear, that is the dirt can be back-filled around the walls and a rough grade of the property occurred. Inside the basement pipes were being put into place that will eventually be covered by the concrete floor. I made sure to take plenty of pictures so that if there was ever any question in the future where a pipe runs I’ll be able to use the pictures as a virtual x-ray. I plan to continue this approach throughout the build so that I will always be able to look back and see what is beneath the surface without doing it the hard and messy way.

The next step was to prepare for concrete – the garage floor & basement floor. The gravel in the basement was smoothed over to provide a bed for the concrete floor and the garage pit that was dug to allow for the construction of the foundation & basement walls was filled in and graded. Especially important for the garage floor was that a proper slope be applied so that water in the garage would flow out and away from the house. I have to say that eyeballing the completed concrete floor, it looks just enough to do the job but not so much that you’ll feel like the garage floor is on a hill.

I stopped by the house one morning and found a concrete pump truck parked in front of the foundation and soon afterwards a couple of concrete trucks showed up followed shortly by the work crew. I decided to stay and watch them pour some of the concrete, even though it was rather chilly (but warm enough to pour the concrete). The concrete steamed as they pumped it out and I was impressed by how quickly and efficiently the guys worked with it. Before I knew it, there was a garage floor where only minutes before there had only been dirt!

The basement floor was poured and looks silky smooth. All of this fresh concrete was covered with warming blankets (you can see some of them in the lower-left of the picture above) to help it cure. It is getting down into the mid 20′s at night but the days are pleasant enough and there isn’t any precipitation in the forecast in the near future. I believe that the next major milestone should be the beginning of the framing. Check back to see.