Foundation Piers and Water Tank

Well construction has gone slowly; for two weeks we had very high winds (35-65 mph) at least 4 days a week. I tried but it’s really impossible to work in those kinds of wind, with silt blowing into my face. And sometimes it’s hard just to try to stand up against it! One day it blew down one of the little trees in front of the house site, which I really needed for shade! (Even though it was a little scraggly) Turns out it had been sawed nearly all the way through at the base..?? Maybe the shed guys did that. It would not have lived anyway. Maybe someday I can plant a prettier tree there.

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Finally I have the foundation piers done. For each one I dug down a few inches and filled the cavity with small gravel and tamped it down good, then added a large 16×16″ patio stone and leveled that. Then added a cement deck block and made sure everything was level again. The trouble I ran into was trying to get all the piers level with each other, and it was really hard and heavy work, having to keep removing the deck blocks, lift up the patio stones and rearranging the gravel underneath. Actually the first three went fairly easily, it was the last one that gave me fits. Then on one of my 2 a.m. think sessions, I decided to back up and do it differently.

The cement deck blocks have indentations that will accept a 2-by board going horizontally, or a 4×4 post vertically.

DSCN7693I was trying to use the 2×6’s horizontally but I remembered that with both my first and fourth house, I attached the floor joists to short lengths of 4×4. Then in order to level it, you just adjust the height of the 2×6 on the 4×4, it doesn’t really matter if the piers are level to each other! Phew….SO much easier! After struggling with the first ones for three days, I had the new ones all set up, level with each other and clamped in place in just a few hours.  I  had to use shims to hold the 4×4’s in place and plumb though, as the spaces in the deck blocks was considerably larger than the post. Then I drilled holes and bolted the 2×6’s to the 4×4 posts. Done! The floor frame will be cantilevered out from these supports on all sides. Now I’m waiting for some help to lift the floor frame onto the foundation.

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Another thing that I had to change was how to attach the hardware cloth to the underside of the floor. I am using 1/4″ hardware cloth as rodent protection. I got the floor all squared up and screwed braces across each corner plus added joist hangers, hoping it would keep it in square. Neighbor Frank helped me list it up and lean it against a tree so I could staple on the hardware cloth. Here it is leaning against the tree.

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I got out my handy clamps and unrolled the first piece of the mesh, clamped it evenly across the top and then when I clamped it to one side, I noticed that it was not lining up straight with the floor joist. So that meant the floor was not square any more.  Frank thinks the only way to do it is to lay it on the foundation, square it up and add the mesh, then flip it over. Ugh! That’ll be a lot harder than just standing it up, attach the mesh, and lay it back down. But I’m afraid he’s right.

I’ve also been working on the water tank support in my spare time. Three sides are done and I got the first course of cement blocks all laid and leveled on the 4th side, ready for the really heavy corner pieces which are two cement blocks stuck together, with post holders embedded in the centers. I managed to get one of them down so I could work on the leveling but they are too heavy for me to lift back up, so will have to wait on that also until Frank can come back and help with the lifting. I wish I was stronger but I already have back degeneration problems and the bad knee; I’m terrified I’ll injure myself and then not be able to work on the house at all. News Flash…Frank and his friend Tracy just left,  and they helped me finish up the water tank! Wow, now I can order some water! And they also laid the floor framing down and we got it squared up so I can now attach the hardware cloth. Yippeeeee! What a good day!

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Most of my seedlings are doing well, though they seem to grow really slowly. I think they are sooo cute, especially the teeny tiny lettuce plants. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about a garden; a discussion on Facebook about gardening showed that a lot of people have given up on it around here because of the critters who come and eat it all. Even in a friend’s greenhouse! I think I will maybe just have some container vegs and maybe even put them up on a table to keep the critters away. Right now they reside inside Roxie’s exercise pen during the day, or in the car if it’s too windy.

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Two varieties of heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, chives, rosemary and a couple onions. The bell peppers never did germinate.

Oh and here are a few Amazon links; items that other readers have recently purchased. You can use these links as a gateway to the rest of Amazon’s products, and I get a small percentage. (It doesn’t cost you anything extra) Thanks! Also there are a couple links at the top right for donating……if you like the blog, please consider “a cup of coffee” for $3. I promise I won’t waste the money on buying coffee, LOL!  And for those who have donated, thank you so much!!

Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Colorful Kids’ Telescopic Butterfly Nets

EHP Myristin Canine Joint Formula

 

 

 

 

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14 Responses to Foundation Piers and Water Tank

  1. Renee from Idaho says:

    Wow! Ambitious! It’s going to look great when you’re all finished.

    Like

  2. Tom & Deb says:

    Glad to read you are finally able to start building your new home. You have gotten a lot done already and being able to have a larger quantity of water available is I am sure going to make your life a little easier. Looking forward to your future posts with your progress…Happy building just be careful

    Like

  3. Helen says:

    I was so excited to see a new post. I am so amazed and envious of your drive and skill. I can not wait for a new post. I check every day. But now I know you must be exhausted at night and I just need to be patient. Good luck and stay safe.

    Like

    • janispaqu says:

      Thanks Helen! There should be a place along the right side of the blog to sign up to follow it, then you’ll get an email every time I do a new blog post. Actually the timing of the entries is more a matter of not having much to report, though you’re right, I am tired at night! Sometimes I’m asleep by 7:30 pm!

      Like

  4. Gail says:

    Janis, your determination is awesome. Who wouldn’t love to build their own home. Way to go!!! You’ve got guts, Girl!!

    Like

  5. Lesa says:

    Janice, I’m building an screen garden room using aluminum screen to keep the pests and birds at bay. It will have a metal roof for rain catchement…. love what you are doing. The critters are amazing in our area.

    Like

  6. nc1queenbee says:

    Way to go Janice. You just saved us a ton of work. We are about to replace a back porch using the old wood from the one we tore down. I don’t want to attach it to the house as that requires a whole new set of rules and if we’re going to sell, it has to be up to the dang code. Your solution to leveling the freestanding thing is a godsend. Luv ya babe.
    Kay

    Like

  7. Pete says:

    Funny if you had made the water tank a few feet higher you could have used it to have running water in the house.

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    • janispaqu says:

      I was hoping to get gravity feed water to the house but I would have had to make the platform 60″ high, and that would be too unstable considering the way it was built, with blocks not staggered and not mortared. And I would have had to build a special ladder so the water delivery guy could reach the entry lid! The floor is 20″ above ground and the top of the high-rise faucet adds another 40″. I’ll get a 12v pump.

      Like

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