The latter part of last week was spent on the final few items necessary prior to being able to start framing.  Since we had excavated out a flat shelf cut for the foundation and formed our footers on top of that ground, prior to stacking the ICFS blocks, we had DIGS swing back by with a small skid steer and fill in the entire inside of the foundation with # 57 gravel up to the top of the footer.

My original intention when we began excavation was to have a level cut even with approximately the top of the footers and then dig a trench around the perimeter to pour the footers in.  If we would have done that, I could have saved a few bucks on gravel, but we had a few equipment issues during excavation and it was just easier to cut everything out level to beat the rain.

There are a few benefits to having all that gravel though.  It had rained a ton prior to stacking and pouring the ICFS and we would have had a mud pit for pouring the foundation.  It also makes it quite simple to install a passive radon venting system.

And, it made a nice detail for our under slab insulation as the 2″ of foam that was called out by our Passiv House modeling was able to butt right into the foam of the ICF of the wall.  The only thermal break down low that we will have really is the sill plate that sits on top of the foundation.

Our man Bo Collins of Collins Concrete poured another great slab for us.  When he rolled up initially, he was little dubious about the tightness of the site, but we were able to get the concrete trucks backed down the driveway a fair amount.  By the time he sistered on his own chute to the concrete chute of the truck, they really didn’t have to pull much concrete around.

For us, it’s a bit of a milestone having a foundation and slab in, plus all of our framing material for the basement and web floor trusses on site with plenty of time to spare.  We’re punching up the house at Riverbluff and it’s nice to have the next project completely dialed in and ready to roll.  It’s got me chomping at the bit to finish Riverbluff.

In the past, we’ve usually hit little lags as we wait for a spec house to sell, or the final design or financing details to come together on a client house.  We’ve found ourselves scrambling to pull together little jobs to keep everybody busy to also doing piddly stuff on my house to fill the time.

It makes me think fondly back to a few summers ago and by far the best use of down time. We were waiting for the Grady house to sell as we couldn’t start the King St project until that sold.  It was just Jesse Straight and I at the time.  He was totally cool not working and took the summer off to try his hand at urban farming and was able to start up a micro CSA on an empty lot that backed up to the Grady House.  And look at farmer Jesse now! (A quick plug: he is diversifying from just free range chickens to adding on free range pigs and a cow or two and is starting to make deliveries to Charlottesville).  I had killed myself on the Grady house and thought a great way to let my body heal up was to take off for Europe for six weeks and bicycle around with a buddy.  Ah, the good old days.

Now, with five of us working and having built up various infrastructure and perpetually growing soft costs, we can’t really turn off the Latitude 38 juggernaut.  So, we settle for folks one at a time slipping in and out during the year for various adventures.  Point in case: Mr. Hughes has left us in a cloud of dust for the month of May.  Unconfirmed reports place him in the vicinity of The Big Easy, but who really knows.

Enough rambling for now.