Week 3: Ground breaking and forming and pouring the foundation.

Wednesday morning we met up for the official groundbreaking ceremony. Emily said a few words about the gaining in momentum of community rebuilds and everything we were hoping to accomplish with this build (below).
Standing across from us were friends of the organization, the board of directors, neighbors, and the cat that visits us every morning, who goes by Snufflekins, Litterbiscuits, or Dr. Meow (below).

When the crowd cleared out, Tony started up the Bobcat and leveled the house site for us. Then we measured out the space our foundations will take up, plus room on each side to move. Kelly is checking how level the foundation trenches are with a laser level (below).

Then we pull out the Dr. Seuss looking pounding machine- jumpingjack or wackerpacker- to ensure our base earth was firm and ready to receive concrete. Eric shows Claire how to use it below.

Next we add stakes, guided by our exterior lines, and set up rails to hold foam insulation and the poured concrete. End of a cold, damp Wednesday.


The next morning, we have formed a box perimeter to pour concrete into. This is a shallow foundation, the center will be filled with some gravel. The straw bales and radiant-heated adobe floor will sit on top.

Kelly Ray and Dave pay as a visit with densely packed straw bales from Colorado, we were all so happy to see Kelly Ray again!

Alyssa is extremely useful in small places, like the top of the straw bale shelter.

I got to be my dad for a day as I tie rebar together that will reinforce the concrete.

At the end of the day we were all ready to go for concrete…except for a bummer mistake we made on both short sides of the foundation. We left the worksite concerned about fixing the problems before the inspector showed up Friday at 1 and the concrete truck at 2.


On Friday morning, we finished the adjustments, finish tying rebar, spray for termites, check all our pipes (electric, sewer, water, greywater). A neighbor down the street, Kathy, brought us fresh baked bread, covered in butter, with sides of honey and homemade peach jam for a mid-morning snack. We loved it! What a welcoming neighborhood!

In the afternoon, our forms passed inspection and the concrete truck rolled in. We took turns shoveling the concrete, magging (leveling the concrete into the forms), and working the surface to a smooth finish.

Friday evening, after a long week of work, we drove up to Slickrock trail, climbed up some rocks, and watched the beautiful sunset.


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