Saturday, August 31, 2013

drainage and sewer

It's been a month of site work and foundation.  Above shows the footing drain installed.

Once the free draining rock was placed over the footing drain and the filter fabric laid on top, they trenched and ran the pipe for the sewer connection.  You can see the clean-out in the below right corner.

At the same time they also ran the downspout drains.  Our downspouts along the North side (shown below) will pickup the majority of our roof drainage and will dump into a rain garden in our front yard.

Here Neil is measuring for the as-built drawing of our drainage so we know the location when we start landscaping.  Also of note is the retaining wall Neil built along the fence. He made it out of steel I beams and 4x8 pressure treated lumber.  You can see the filter fabric that is over the free draining rock that covers the perforated drain pipe running along the base of it. There was a 4' grade difference diagonally across the site, so we leveled out our side yard and will have a step down towards the front of the property.  

The site is finally starting to look cleaned up and ready for the slab work.  All the bad dirt was removed and structural fill was brought in.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

stem walls

Here they are pouring the foundation stem walls.  You can see the arm of the pump truck coming down in the upper right corner.
We will eventually be pouring a concrete slab for the entire first floor.  After having the geotech out to the site as well as our structural engineer, we now need to remove more of the organic material (dirt  with tree roots) from the center and bring in structural fill.
The man in the blue on the left is controlling the pump and the man holding the pump is directing the concrete into the forms. 
Below is a corner of the form with rebar in place.

5/8" diameter anchor bolts are then set into the wet concrete.  You can see them sticking up out of the concrete in the pictures below.  They are typically placed every 48" with a few locations closer together where there is a shear wall.  The anchor bolts will tie the wood framed walls to the foundation.  This enables the house to be more resistant in an earthquake and will keep the framed house from moving off its foundation.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

introducing CHAPUCAS

This is probably the most daunting design project I have ever worked on…the design of our own home. Having my husband and myself as clients is a lot harder than one would think. How do I get all those cool ideas I have been wanting in a house into a cohesive design and within budget? All of our decisions are based on balancing our, at times, conflicting priorities.

  • A home we will love - cool, beautiful and comfortable
  • Lots of natural light
  • Stay within our budget
  • Energy Efficient
  • Healthy, Low Maintenance & Environmentally Responsible interiors and exteriors
  • A house that fits into the neighborhood

  • The lot size is 40’x120’ with alley access, 20’ front yard set back and 16’ rear yard with 5’ side yard setbacks. 
  • Open up to the southern exposure along the long side of the lot.
  • Attached ADU (accessory dwelling unit, aka mother-in-law unit)
  • Main living space on the second floor with separate bedroom
  • Connection to the outside on the second floor
  • Garage big enough for the Mini Cooper, motorcycle and all of Neil’s tools and work materials. 
  • Home offices for both of us

  • Display my extensive book collection without overwhelming Neil’s minimalistic sensibilities.
  • A large enough home to entertain in, but small enough to be intimate for just the 2 of us.  The right size home.
  • Maintaining privacy within a city environment while bringing in lots of natural light
  • Create 2 dwelling units that are separate, but have an indoor connection

The main space is really what the whole house is designed around. I wanted lots of natural light and ventilation. A room that is both intimate and spacious. A room where the bookshelves and cabinets are built in and become the walls and the TV can be hidden with moveable panels. The house is designed around how we live and want to live.



Friday, August 9, 2013

staking, tree removal, excavation & footings

 We have finally started construction.  Above is a photo of Neil and I figuring out what the first floor height would be and staking out the house.  The site is relatively flat, but there is a slight slope across the site that we had to take into account.  2' from front to back and 2' from side to side.  Below was the start of excavation and removal of 3 trees.  2 holly trees and a camellia tree.  We kept an Aralia elata out front which has a beautiful red color in the fall that goes well with the Karina house color.

And this week footings were formed and poured. Stem walls will be formed in a couple days and hopefully poured on Tuesday.  The entire first floor will be slab on grade.  Look for a post soon on the design and floor plans.