Ranch Redux: A Ranch Done Wright

A Good Foundation | February 19, 2011

Our framing contractor said: “the hardest thing is to get out of the ground.”  After the setbacks we had in January, I believe him. There was one thing after another. The rain filled up the trenches.  Our car was stolen from our driveway while we slept.  The rebar bender was breaking the rebar instead of bending it causing Tim to have to rent a huge U-haul truck to get eight pieces of rebar back here from Home Depot.  When it came time to pour, the weather again turned ugly and we had to postpone it several times.

All of this reminded me of an old joke my dad used to tell.  There was a farmer, we’ll call him Bob, who went on an extended vacation.  Bob asked his neighbor to look after his farm and animals while he was gone.  After a month the neighbor picked Bob up from the airport and on the way home Bob asked about his farm.  The neighbor said that everything was fine except “The dog died.”  Bob exclaimed “oh no, how did dear Fido die?”

“Fido ate burned horse flesh” the neighbor drawled.

“Burnt horse flesh?! How did he get a hold of burnt horse flesh?”

“The barn burned down, trapping the horses in the barn.”

“The barn burned down?! How did it that happen?”

“A spark from the house lit it on fire.”

The joke goes on from there, but you get the picture.  In my house growing up, we used “the dog died” as shorthand when one of us had string of bad luck.

In spite of the delays we got the interior footings poured, but it was a struggle.  The first step was for Tim and Fernando to put all the rebar in place and dowel the old slab to the new slab.

There is so much rebar in our foundation, it is amazing.  It is probably overbuilt, but that is what the City told us we had to do.  I guess I will be happy about it if there is a 7.0 earthquake (Tim says WHEN there is a 7.0 earthquake) Next, Tim had to coordinate a cement truck, a pump truck, and Fernando to pour.

This week it rained off and on, and the cement plant doesn’t even open to mix cement unless they have a minimum of 100 yards of cement on order.  The only possible day to get our foundations done was Thursday, and Tim got it done!

It is such a relief to have the trenches filled.  There was something unsettling about having to avoid deep ditches filled with razor sharp wire and rebar.  Tim put plywood down so we wouldn’t accidentally fall in the foundation trenches, but it still was difficult. Now that we are closed in and we don’t have to worry about stormy weather, we are almost giddy.  We still have the outside trenches to dig, structural steel posts to set, and more concrete to pour, but it feels great to take a big step out of the ground


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We are embarking on an adventure turning a boring little ranch house into a modern style remodel.







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