Thursday, May 3, 2012

Working on the Addition

The only thing I can say is, wow, has it been busy here!  There's so much to do and so little time to do it!!  I feel like every single day is a blur and goes by at break-neck speed (finishing High School, preparing for graduation stuff, working at the barn, running *mostly* every day, taking/editing/blogging pictures for my photography business, watching siblings etc. are some of the things that have been keeping me busy :).

Two posts ago I mentioned that we would be getting started on our addition!  And we have!  We officially have the foundation, early stages of the floor, and one wall up!!!  Yeah!!!  

To say I'm behind on posting all these pictures from the addition building is an understatement!  (Did I mention how much I've got to do? :)  So, here is the first installment.  I'm going to try and fit everything we've done for/to the addition in the past month in one post.  Then, hopefully, I'll have more time to blog, and will post weekly on what's been going on with the addition.

But, you've had enough of the details, let's get to the pictures!

The first thing that happened, months ago, to prepare for the addition was "moving" our septic tank.  In reality, we drained what was our current tank, crushed it, dug a hole for another septic tank a few feet behind it, and then put in a new tank.

Our friends, the Nice's, were huge helps and brought one of their tractors and dug the septic tank hole for us.  In between the "septic tank moving/crushing process" (which was spread over 3 days), they kept the tractor here so Daddy could clear off lots more of our land. It was wonderful!

But here are the pictures of the septic tank process:

First, they marked the area where the new septic tank was going to go.

Then Mr. Nice started to dig out the dirt.

Look at that lovely Virginia clay! :)

Eventually the pile of dirt got bigger and bigger as the hole for the new tank got deeper and deeper.

Eventually, the hole was dug deep enough and Daddy and Mr. Nice worked on getting the bottom leveled:

The pipe you see in this picture was from the existing septic tank.  After the ground was leveled, the pipe was cut, so the new tank could be put in. :)

R.R. Beasley delivered the massive concrete tank.

The tank was lowered into the hole but then it was found that the hole needed to be a few inches deeper.  So, after doing all the work to level the bottom out, they had to get the tractor out and dig some more.  

Lifting the bottom half of the septic tank out of the hole, so the rest of the digging could be done.

Re-digging and flattening. :)

Going in for the second time!

This time the tank fit in the hole perfectly, which was a relief to the men, I'm sure!

Mr. Nice then took some of the dirt he had dug out of the hole and put it back around the tank.

Daddy went around and tamped the dirt in around the tank.

After the pipe was put through our new septic tank, the tank was completely covered in dirt.  Then the top and part of the sides of the old tank was crushed.  (We later filled the old tank with sand.)

I'm sure I've missed some of the other little things that took place before we could actually begin building for the addition, FYI.  I'm just trying to fill you in on the big things that have happened!


April 14th was the first day, after months of waiting, that the team building our addition came out.

Now you're probably wondering what "the team" means.  Most people have a general contractor or someone that does the building.  Well, a few years ago, some friends from our past church (HEFC) started doing various construction jobs on Saturday's.  100% of the profit they made from the jobs they completed went to their mission team.  So, basically, this team is a group of friends from a church that voluntarily give up their Saturday to build projects, so they can send the money they make to missions.  Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?  And trust me, it is...this is "the team" that's building our addition.

We decided to go with this team (rather than a general contractor) because of this reason and also because they were cheaper than a general contractor would be.

The other thing we love about having this team build our addition is we know most of the people that came build.   (After all, we went to HEFC for over 12 years!)  We haven't seen them all in a while due to our changing churches, but we miss seeing the people (at least I do :) that we grew up around.  Another benefit is that Mr. Reynolds, the guy in charge of this whole team, loves to have all of us help.  So, we children actually feel like we're contributing somewhat (though it be small :)!  And, as if this team wasn't great enough, it's been so neat to see the Body of Christ working together.  To think that people would give up their Saturday to come help build something for no personal profit, is amazing!  Also, many of the volunteers have different gifts and talents that all help in some way.  It's so neat to see the Body working as it should!!

The only downside to this team is that they only can do work on Saturdays (after all, they all work normal jobs), but so far the Lord's been good and we've been able to build every Saturday since we started!!

The first Saturday the team came out, the foundation was dug out.

The team, Daddy, and the boys dug out the ditch for the concrete to be poured into.

See the heads down in the ground?  That's Daddy, Mr. Reynolds, and Josiah putting up a frame in our old septic tank so the concrete wouldn't flood into the tank.

The form.

Rebars were also put down in the ditch that was dug.

That completed one day of work because nothing else could be done until the concrete could be poured.


April 20th was the day we had the concrete poured!  Just as an example of the blessing this team is, Mr. Reynolds went to his normal job early that morning so he could get off earlier than normal.  That way, he could get to our house just in time to help with the concrete pouring.  Mr. Woodson and Mr. David also showed up to you see how great this team is?  3 people gave up their Friday afternoon (remember they usually only do work on Saturdays) just to make sure the foundation was set right!!  I can't speak enough of how kind they all were!

Oh, I forgot to mention that we almost couldn't get the concrete poured that day due to some questions regarding the weight-bearing capabilities of the projected foundation.  Daddy spent lots of time getting the inspector convinced that our plan would work and he finally agreed.  I mean Daddy was at the inspectors office, two hours before the concrete was scheduled to arrive, trying to convince this guy it would work.  We were so glad when Daddy called and said the inspector said it was okay!  The concrete could be poured!!

Backing up into the yard.

 Setting up!
Mr. Reynolds (left) and Mr. David.

We had a whole group of observers that day!  The Jacksons and Jaime (Lexi's best friend) were over helping us out with anything and everything, so they got to watch the concrete pouring!

Mrs. Jackson isn't sure about the concrete. :)

While the concrete was being poured, raked, etc. Tobias Jackson came and showed us the frog he caught. :)

Isn't he so adorable!?
Mr. Reynolds moving the concrete.

Mr. Woodson making everything just right. :)

Eden and Seth watching the process.

After the concrete was poured, Mr. Reynolds went around and smoothed the concrete.

Then everything was done that could be done.  

The next thing that took place was having Mr. Wilson come out and build the foundation for us.

All 100+ blocks and the bags of mortar were delivered Friday afternoon.  The Jacksons helped us take them off Daddy's truck and stack them in preparation for Mr. Wilson, who was coming the next day.

(Remember me talking about Dowy (a.k.a. Mr. Jon)?  Well Dowy married Erin Wilson...Mr. Wilson's daughter.  This is how we came to know and get Mr. Wilson to do our foundation! :)

Mr. Wilson also gave up his Saturday afternoon to come build the foundation.  We are so grateful to the Lord for all the selfless people he has provided to help us with the addition!

Daddy and Mr. Wilson talking.

Daddy said later that he and Mr. Wilson think a lot alike, which is always exciting.  I think they talked about practically everything as they worked all day Saturday!

While Daddy and Mr. Wilson worked, Lydia and Judah played in the trailer full of sand Daddy had bought to use in the mortar mix.  It was like a giant sandbox!

Judah-man loved climbing up the "hill".

Love the right picture of Lydia!!

Between helping Mama milk Halle, gathering eggs, and mixing mortar with Daddy, Josiah managed to find time to play in the sand a little too!

The foundation wasn't completely finished by Saturday night, so Mr. Wilson came back a few days later and finished it.

One view of *mostly* finished foundation.

Judah looking out the den/kitchen window. :)

April 27th, last Friday, Daddy finished up some of the last things the foundation needed before we had to get an inspection.  He finished up and we all prayed the inspector would come out.  Daddy had been calling the county office a lot that day (and the day before) making sure one of the inspectors could come out Friday.  If they didn't, we wouldn't be able to build Saturday.  One of the inspectors was on vacation, and the other was feeling sick and was going to take a half-day Friday.  Daddy called and called making sure the inspector would fit us into his schedule Friday.  After Dad did all he could to convey that we needed the inspector that day, he left for work and the rest of us went to do P.E. with the Jacksons (which is SO much fun, by the way!).  Mom accidentally left her phone at home so we didn't know, until we got home, if the inspector had even come.  We looked out on the foundation for an inspection paper and found one!  We looked and saw the "Passed" box checked and I squealed (which isn't normal for me...we were just praying so hard that the inspector would come out and pass the inspection, so we could build.  And He did!  Thank you, Lord!!)

We excitedly called Daddy, and he called Mr. Reynolds and let him know that we could build Saturday!!!  The next day the team was here, bright and early (before I woke up from my Sat. sleep-in :).  After a prayer, they began working on flattening the heaps of dirt piled up in the would-be addition crawlspace.

The dirt was flattened in no time thanks to the abundance of volunteers!!

This past Saturday, we had the most volunteers yet.  I think there were around 10 guys from HEFC and Nick, a friend from our current church.  Later that day, Mr. Jackson and Jude, Kyra, Gabrielle, Zane, and Asher came over to help too!

Remember how I said Mr. Reynolds is the "team leader" of the group building our addition?  Well, the guy with the green hat on in the above picture was Mr. Reynolds dad.  It was so neat watching their relationship together.  The younger Mr. Reynolds would defer questions to his Father, calling him "Daddy".  It was so beautiful to see a close, respectful Father-Son relationship and to watch them work together on the addition!

Putting the floor boards up!

While the work was going on, Eden went around and offered some delicious apples to the hard workers. :)

Along with apples, Daddy, Caleb, and Seth had stopped to pick up doughnuts for the team:
They were delicious!
(I've joked that we need to have the team over more often because we're now getting food we rarely ever get!)

Hannah, Caleb, Seth, and I worked on flattening the dirt outside of the foundation to make it even with the current ground.

Josiah talking with Mr. David.

The general scene of building. :)

Hannah hanging up some laundry. :)

Our sweet dog, Caramel. :)

Nailing the boards in.

Mr. Reynolds showing Seth how the nail gun works.

Before we knew it the OSB was being laid down and nailed!

Mr. Jackson helping measure. :)

This guy, Louis, was pretty funny!

Everyone was so lighthearted and fun to be around...Saturdays are now one of my favorite days of the week!

Seth using the nail gun!

When the guys were mostly finished with the OSB, we brought out the lunch we made for everyone and set it up on the "floor" of our addition.   About 2 minutes later, it started to rain so we had to move all the food back inside. :)

(A big thank you goes to the Jackson girls for helping with lunch!)

For lunch we had hotdogs, fresh fruit, chips and dip, a veggie tray, and pumpkin bars.

A good majority of the volunteers left soon after lunch.   Then, we worked on getting the first wall of the addition built!!

I got to nail the wall frame together, which was pretty neat.  :)  Mr. Reynolds showed me how use the nail gun, and then just told me where to nail.  The bad thing was he forgot to tell me that the nail gun needed to be straight on where I I nailed pat of the frame to the floor (which we didn't find out til we went to lift the frame). :-D

 As you might be able to see from this picture, it rained off and on for the rest of the afternoon.  It was very wet, chilly, and cold but I never heard the men complain once.

Nailing the weatherproof paper down.

Getting ready to set the wall up!! 
(Dowy, the guy on the left, came by to grab a hot dog and to see how the addition was going.  He also helped hoist the wall up when it was ready.)


It was so exciting to see the wall up!!

Moving it just a little bit...

Daddy beat the wall with a sledgehammer wherever it needed to be moved.

Nailing the wall in!

There you have a quick, somewhat abbreviated version of the addition progress!  Hopefully this Saturday we'll have the other two walls up. :)


This is by no means related to the addition but it was too cute that I had to post about it.  

Caleb came in one afternoon and asked if he could take my camera out to take a picture of the 4 youngest eating lunch together outside.  Somehow they had managed to take our little plastic picnic table and put it on our wooden rocking swing where they were enjoying a delicious lunch:
Isn't that hilarious? 

Okay, this post is long enough!
Til next time!
Kimber :)

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing so many people I love working together! Thank you for sharing. I really enjoy keeping up with you all!