Monday, July 11, 2011

Excavating for the New Addition

After completing most of the excavations I set up the model in the driveway between the house and the garage and took this shot with the real trees in the background.

It is going to take quite a bit of work to complete this project, but we will just do what we can every day until we see it thru.  Here you can see where I have cut the pavement and started excavating.

I have numbered this plan to show each individual excavation.  Each one is unique.  Number 1 is located inside the existing garage and required cutting the concrete slab so that I could dig down to bedrock.  Number 2 is outside the garage and inside gravel path contained by a rock retaining wall.  Numbers 3 and 4 are in the middle of the driveway and must carry about 35,000 pounds.  Number 5 will be a closet extension for the master bedroom.  Number 6 is for the stairway to the second level... and Number 7 is for a pantry which will be accessed off the laundry room.

The garage floor concrete was cut 28" by 36" and we found some huge boulders that are very tight and immoveable.  I may still have to try to widen where possible before drilling into these rocks and pining them together with rebar.

Here is another angle on Number 1 taken from the other side.

Number 2 has been excavated 4 feet wide and is 54 inches between the garage and the rock wall... about 36 inches deep... and I expect to see a 12 inch thick footing 42"  by more than 60"... the full distance from under the slab to under the rock retaining wall.

The garage is a slab on grade with no footing or foundation... so I have dug under the slab 8 inches so that I can drill into the slab to tie in rebar to the new foundation and footing.  The centre of the post is 36 inches off the garage wall.  The black 3/4" poly pipe is water supply for irrigation.  The yellow level is 48 inches long.

Both Numer 3 and 4 were cut 36 inches square.  This was the tightest material of all the excavations... hence I stopped going deeper at 22 inches.

 It took me 90 minutes just widen the base three inches to 42 inches square to receive a 12 inch high footing... that is how tightly packed this gravel is.

This hole was much easier to dig as it was full of many rocks, which I separated out and saved for future rock facing, which I plan to do on the posts supported by this footing an foundation.

This base is undercut to receive a 48" square by 12" thick footing... and the bottom is 28 inches below the pavement.

I took this  photo to show not only the amount of rock, but the size... the largest ones are already loaded into the tractor bucket.  A few of these rocks came from the hole Number 2 by the garage... but one day many of these rocks will graduate to a place of honour in rock facing on these posts or the house.

Number 5 is the master bedroom closet expansion... and it all is down to bedrock.  Only where the service pipes are laying on the bedrock will I cover with sand and soil so the concrete will not touch them.  Minimal footings here will be used to level up the base so that a standard 24-inch plywood form can be used.

Knowing there were electrical, phone and water service lines in this area, I choose to dig most all of this area by hand... it took most of two days.

Under the stairs we plan to set up our recycle department... which will be on a concrete slab on grade.  But next to the house at each end of the stairs that go up we will need support for posts that will carry a double truss joist the will support the outside wall and roof joists.

There still is some excavation to complete here, regardless of if I do slab on grade or floor joists.  From the steps to the left there is a cantilever... so to contain the planter next to the house bricks were stacked under the outside wall.  The planter footing 24 inches away from the house will be removed if this is going to be crawl space... which it likely will be.

As the sun was setting we look back from the future pantry towards the garage.

From the pantry side we look at the model again.


  1. Very cool shots of the model showing how things will look in the future. Also loved the detail of the blog on each step of the process. It's going to be a great project just don't over do it. Take care.

  2. The deep you dig into the subject and give us the accurate data is appreciable.