Monday, April 30, 2012

Rebar work

I did not make it out to the site today, but the plan called for the Monolithic dome people to be back and start cleaning up the site and laying the rebar. We did have some thieves come by over the weekend and stole a coil of wire from the site. Annoying, but not real damaging other than financial and making you a bit concerned about the future. The contractor is planning on installing a gate on the drive and maybe putting up a camera as well.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Initial Electrical is done

Electrical Slab, Running conduit for electrical in the slabThe electricians have finished setting up the in slab electrical and things should be all ready for them to come in on Monday and start finishing the preparations for the pouring of the slab. This involves cleaning up the ring beam footing, digging the main wall beams, and placing the rebar as needed.

The local utility company will be coming out next week to connect power to the temporary pole they set and we will then have power on-site. This has to happen before the airform can be inflated, so it will probably be next Friday or maybe even Saturday before we can inflate the airform and start building the dome shell proper. It seems so close and yet so far away at the same time. Once that goes up, the site view won't be changing much over time and my pictures will have to be interior pictures where things are actually happening.

Stay tuned and we'll have the actual inflation schedule posted in a few days (I hope).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Plumbing Passed Inspection

Pressure_Test, Pressure Valve on the plumbing linesIt's not easy to see, but there is a pressure valve on the top of the pipe in the above photo. This was an air pressure test to check the integrity of the plumbing. It passed the city inspection, so that phase is complete. Next the electricians come in and work on the wiring that needs to be in the slab. Hopefully this will be complete by the end of the week.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

More Water Progress

Water_Meter, First connection to the water meter Today not a whole lot of visible progress occurred around the domes themselves, but we did get the water main connected to the meter and run about half way up to the house. I suspect that tomorrow they will finish connecting the piping up to the house and set a temporary hose bib to use in building the domes.

We did notice that they must have finished the guest house plumbing since they had put a pressure gauge on the system and pressurized it. That way they can check tomorrow and see if it lost pressure. If it did, there is a small leak somewhere in the system and they get to play hide and seek, otherwise they are good to go and can move on to the next phase.

Monday, April 23, 2012

We actually will have indoor plumbing!

First Plumbing, The first day of plumbing the new houseThe weekend was occupied with other things and I did not get a chance to post anything about the house. The Monolithic Dome people finished putting the frame around where the foundation will go on all three domes. They actually look so small when all you can see is the frame making a footprint for them. I know how much larger the rooms will seem, but now it looks too small.

Starting this week the general contractor, Brian German, has his subcontractors in laying the in slab plumbing and then later the electrical work. They should be able to get all that done this week and we'll hopefully get the slab poured next week.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Framing the Foundation

First Foundaton Frame, End of the first day of framing the foundation First Foundation Framing, Corner by Utility Room Today they worked on putting the frame around where the foundation will be. It is interesting to watch them laying the wood and then curving it to the correct shape and screwing it into the frame they have set in the ground. After they get the framing done they foundation guys will leave for a few days and let the plumbers and electricians in to do their stuff. Then the foundation people will return and clean out the beam footings and lay the rebar in place.

Also, the contractor finished taking out he dead trees today and getting those hauled off. We tried putting the wood on Craigslist, but only one person seemed to want it and they never came and got it. Sort of sad, but it had to go.

Day two of slab work complete

I don't have a photo for today, but I do have a nifty table to summarize the expected progress of building the slab. This is just an estimate and things may certainly shift by a few days depending on things like the weather and whatnot, but it is a fairly good estimate.

Break Ground, initial phase of digging the beams and building the frame
Plumbing and electrical in the slab
Complete frame, lay rebar, prepare to pour
Pour Slab
Inflate the Airform

We also got the inspection for the power pole and setup, so in the next few days the utility company will be connecting our power and then the contractor will run a 320 amp circuit from the utility pole up to the job site (about 200 feet). He will also be running water up to the job site in the near future, since the water meters were installed recently.

All in all things are really starting to happen. The next few weeks will be exciting as stuff visually begins to happen around the job site.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Breaking Ground

First Ground Breaking, Ring Beam ChannelToday was the ground breaking for our new home! Monolithic Domes came down and began digging the ring beam and working with the site. The plumbers will be working tomorrow and hopefully the construction phase of the foundation will complete early next week and then they can pour the concrete.

I don't know if I'll actually keep up with daily posts from here out, but I am going to try hard to give regular posts.

If all goes as planned, the airform will be inflated toward teh end of next week!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The house shell is manufactured

Flat Pattern Dome, Main domes laid out

Rolled  Main Dome, Main dome airform rolled up for transport
We took a trip up to Italy Texas today to look at the fabrication process of the dome airform (the balloon). The whole thing weighs about 1000 pounds and rolled up is about the size of a large dog house. That being said, it is finished. The rest of the fabrication should be done early next week and the whole job should be ready for shipment by the end of next week. It is amazing to thing that that roll of fabric is our house. It is sort of like a tent at the moment and anyone who has ever rolled up a tent and tried to get it back in the little bag they send with them understands the process the crew went through.

The only trouble is that Monolithic Domes is having a workshop next week, so none of the crews will be available until April 16th. They plan on sending an advanced crew down then to work with the basic foundation and digging out the beams on the 16th and 17th. Then the plumbers and electricians can have the rest of the week to lay the stuff they need which will be inside the foundation. Then the next week Monolithic will come back in force and finish what they need and pour the foundation by the end of the week.

If it goes as per that plan (which I hope it will) then the airform should be shipped here on April 30th and probably inflated on May 1st or 2nd! At this point in time all kinds of stuff will be happening on site and I hope I'll have more frequent blog entries.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fountation Plans being setup

Front_Elevation_Small, Artists drawing of the front of the house I think things are finally get started in earnest. In about 2 weeks Monolithic Domes will be coming down to start building the frame for the foundation. If that happens, then I hope the airform (the balloon) will be inflated somewhere during the first few weeks of May. I hope to visit them while they are making the actual airform and maybe get a few pictures for posterity.

The lot itself is really greening up now. The rains we have had and the beautiful weather make it look really nice. Except for the few trees that did not survive the drought last year. From the road it is very difficult to see the pad through the trees. Once there is a house there and when it is lit at night especially, I'm sure it will be visible, but we should still have a lot of privacy and sound insulation as well from road noises.