The Third Dimension

Been a quiet weekend house-wise.  We have a little over a week before the foundation is set.  Somewhere in Lima, New York there should a factory team pouring over my plans and manufacturing our foundation in the coming week.  In the meantime we need to prep the site to their specifications.  We can’t dig the hole too early in case of rain, which would turn our foundation hole into a swimming pool.  But we have to dig it and leave enough time to lay down drain pipes and get an inspection I believe.

Fortunately on the personal front we’ve completed our last art show of the season so now we can focus on building the house.

I think the next big hurdle we have, one where once we’re past and if all still looks good we can let out a sigh of relief, is getting the foundation in.  The surveyor staked out the house and from what I can tell it’s situated correctly or rather acceptably in relation to the surroundings (trees, topography, etc.) and in relation to the plan (i.e. looks like the drawing as far as I can tell).  This covers the left to right and front to back dimensions. That leaves just one dimension: up and down.

One of the reasons we’re building this house  is because I’m intrinsically lazy.  In our current house every time we do an art show I have to drag everything up from the basement.  In the new house I’m going to have my own first floor studio.  In it I’ll not only work, but also store stuff that we need for art shows. So we purposefully designed the studio to not have any steps to the outside.  It’ll have a cement slab floor with wide double doors that will allow me to go in and out without a step up or down.  Regulations in our neck of the woods require 6″ between grade and an exterior door.  Once the house is graded I’ll ramp up to the doorway. Then I can back the truck right up near the door and minimize my every step.  Maybe I need one of the little fridges in my studio for beer in case I get thirsty…..a chair or bench too for breaks.

I’m double and triple checking the dimensions as best I can to assure the foundation is set with this in mind.  All along we wanted the first floor low to the ground.  Two maybe three steps up, max. The architect established the number of steps going from my studio to the main house as well as the porch steps back down to grade.  You don’t think about it, but it is fairly scientific and at the very least shouldn’t be taken for granted.  Once the foundation is in there’s not much we can do to correct something if the house is in the wrong place.  I suppose we could mound up the grade around the house but why not do it right the first time.  It’ll be critical to get a good flow in and out of the studio from both inside and outside.  It’s one area I can’t compromise, but also can’t really correct, so I’m praying it turns out okay.  Fingers crossed.

I’ll tell you more about our foundation system around the time it goes in.  I should have some good pics too.  I’ll also start giving some more background on the house design and landscape master plan.

Every day I have a laundry list of potential obstacles and problems.  For every one I solve or eliminate another pops up.  My eye is twitching.

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