Day 2 of house pad – more digging...after a delayed start because the truck had a flat.Day 3 – all go – lots more digging and lots(!!) of sand fill coming in – heaps more than I ever thought. Our contractor struck some clay (which we knew was under there) – but he was just a bit worried – as is good, better to sort it out now than get a house pad that moves. A quick call to the engineer to double check he was still happy with a 400mm sand pad – no problems because a strawbale home is lighter than traditional brick houses – yay.
Day 4 – more of the same – after plenty of digging (we’ve got a patch of heavy gravel too, now a huge pile of gravel!) – it’s now time to fill it back in! There are already 22 truck loads of sand here – and plenty more to come!
Plus we got one extra little surprise – there appears to be some subsurface water weeping through some rocks in one corner – so we are now the proud owners of some subsurface drainage so we don’t get waterlogging of the foundations! All good J.
Interestingly the building schedule of a typical suburban house suggests that only one day would be required for earthworks – we are hoping 6 will see it sorted. Now to see if that equates to 6 times the cost, eh? We have chosen not to get firm quotes for lots of the work because we have faith in our contractors that they will do an exceptional job for a fair price. They have mostly all worked with our building supervisor before so he knows their ball park figures compared to others. Now we understand this *will* lead to some surprises – compared to the professional estimate that we got to cost out our house (great service from Dave Miller at Lakes Estimating) – but the jobs need to be done and we are happy to pay for quality at this end of the build. We can economise somewhat at the other end and get some things more ‘rustic’ ;-) but quality in the foundations is essential.
We did actually get a quote from our earthworking contractor for our shed pad and that was more than fair – so we really do not have any concerns. And a nicer bloke than Wally Duma from Dunsborough Earthmoving would be very hard to meet!