Friday, August 27, 2010

End of Week 4: Starting Foundation Form

The crew has been working hard to get the foundation ready for next week's pouring. The pillars have been poured already so those 10-17' holes from last week are all filled.

End of Week 4

The plywood that is there is along the outer wall of the house and the floor will be about 4" above it.

There were some serious mud that gushed up as the pillar were drilled:

River of mud

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Week 3: Continuing to prepare the foundation

Week 3 is more drilling for the foundation piers. At 7', we hit water which means more $$$. :-(

Picture of one of the holes:

Big expensive hole

You can see that the bottom has a bit of water:

Water in the hole.

The metal rods that will be put into the expensive holes we're digging:

metal rods

Saturday, August 14, 2010

End of Week 2: Preparing for piers

The ground in the area is what our general contractor refer to as "glop". Basically, it's pretty much clay in the ground which is why they required us to put in a pier foundation which is really expensive and ate a big chunk of our budget. This week has been preparing to put in the piers.

Big 'ol drill bit:


The drilling machine:


Property with trenches with marks of where the piers go:


Obviously, the general contractor is already using my office porch for himself!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Do Engineers Want to Be Lawyers?

We engineers tend to be well educated and often very confident in our own abilities in and outside of our area of expertise. We often straddle the fine line between confidence and arrogance. How often have we rolled our eyes at lawyers and judges requesting our source code thinking, "Do they really think that they can just pick it up, read it and understand?"

Computer source code is very precise. It has to be so that a computer can process it and do exactly what we instruct it to do. "a = 1" is precisely what it says. This should make computer code easier to understand then the english language which requires a lot of context. "It's cool" -- what does that mean?!? Those of us in software engineering know that code is not necessarily easy to read or understand because even if the language is precise the meaning can still be difficult to decipher.

Just like programming languages in software engineering, Legal and Politics have their own language. Legal language is especially difficult because even though it uses English its structure and sentences have a precision that doesn't necessarily match that of common vernacular.

Just like how we know that a lawyer can't just start an text editor, read the code and be able to understand, how come we feel that we can read proposals and half researched news articles and declare ourselves as experts?

Outline taking shape

The rough outline of the foundation is taking shape so we should be able to drill the piers soon. Now I'm actually able to stand there and get a better feel for the dimensions of the house rather then just looking at plans on a piece of paper.




Saturday, August 7, 2010

Garage workspace

Here are my last 3 projects and resulting in my new garage work space.

last 3 projects

Garage work space

End of Week 1

Made good progress in week 1. The old foundation has been removed, debris have been removed and the hole for the new foundation is starting to take shape.

End of Week 1

An expensive hole.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 1: Demolition

It only took an hour for the excavator to demolish the house, but 10 months of planning, designing and permitting to get to this day: