Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Waiting on Inspection

I think I may have used this subject line before, but it seems like we do a lot of waiting on inspections. The rebar is finished in the Auxiliary dome and they are ready to spray concrete on it. However, the rebar and electrical conduit has be pass inspection before they are allowed to bury it in concrete. This is actually a good thing as it protects us.

We also got word that the framers will definitely start on Monday of next week, so going into August, we should start to see interior progress. By the end of August we should even have doors and windows on all three structures.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Panorama, The three domes
I got a panorama of the three structures together and thought I'd show it off. Not a whole lot of new work occurred today. The electrical conduit in the auxiliary dome is closer to finished, but from the outside nothing changed.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Framer scheduled to start work next week

This morning I went by the new house to see what was happening and found the general contractor on site. We talked about the process for a while and I found out a few more details about the process. The framer he will be using is currently working on finishing another job. He should be finished this week, so next week he'll be working on our house. It should take about 2 weeks to get all the first floor walls and the second floor subfloor in place. At that time they will work on getting the windows in and the doors in place so that the place will be 100% weathered in. That should take another week or two.

So by mid-August we should have all three domes fully weathered in and the interior work, and the exterior rock covering, should all proceed concurrently then. I asked him about getting the house in the Parade of Homes in October and he is very skeptical about having it close enough by then. He was guessing 80% or so at that point. Maybe enough to show off the house, maybe not. I asked about a move in by mid November, he said probably not, but that he was putting together a timeline now that Monolithic was about finished and he could really be in charge of the process.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Adding Rebar to the Auxiliary Dome

Why is it that progress on a new house does not seem to proceed linearly? Things seem to be happening by leaps and bounds now, while just last week they seemed to stagnate.

Today they finished the foam and started adding the rebar to the third dome on our land. They hope to finish the rebar tomorrow and then let the electrical and plumbing come in next week and get all that finished, along with the necessary inspections. Then toward the end of the week they can work on the final concrete. That means that they might be finished with all the dome work by the 24th or 25th! Certainly by the end of the month.

The leveling of the slab is also continuing apace. There are a few more patches that have been cut out. I am personally hopeful that they will finish cutting on the slab tomorrow and then start patching it back. I think that they will bring in a slab grinder once all the dust settles and by the middle of next week we'll have a level slab and the contractor can begin working on the inside and hanging the windows and doors to make the place weathered in.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Leveling the Slab

Leveling Slab, Patch cut to level main slab
The process of leveling the slab has commenced. The trick is to identify the areas that are too tall and bring a concrete saw in and slice cuts in the slab that are about an inch deep. The concrete is then chipped out around these cuts and the resulting hole is back filled to make it level with the main floor. As of yesterday evening there were 4 such areas, each about 3' x 6' or so in area that had been cut out to level. This would have been SOOOOOOO much easier if it were done right the first time. sigh.

The other thing we have been dealing with the last few days are strong storms blowing through the area. The ground around the domes is very soft (I sank to my ankles several times walking around to take the pictures). It also causes a concern for the newly inflated airform since it is important that we do not get a power outage until there is a concrete support layer on the inside of the dome. If the power dies, the foam polyurethane will not support the weight of the dome and it will collapse, requiring the foam to be scrapped off and a new layer put back when the dome is re-inflated. So far that has not been a problem. It almost was with the garage. The workers inflated the dome before they went home and came back in the morning to spray the foam. The power had died (due to a broken overhead power line). All it meant was that they could not start until the power was restored (early afternoon).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Main Shell is Officially Done, Almost

I spoke with the general contractor last night and we talked about the progress on the house. The main dome shell is done and he has started working on leveling the slab prior to beginning construction. The only issue is there is one spot that looks a bit rough to me up on what would be the second floor. He's going to check it out this morning and see. Other than that the score is one down two to go.

The auxiliary dome is now inflated, so you can see the shape of all three domes. The plan is to finish the domes this week. Spraying polyurethane on the auxiliary dome today, setting rebar on Wednesday, and spraying the concrete on Thursday and Friday. I bet it will stick out onto Monday, but it is a good goal and has potential.

This afternoon we are going to go with the contractor and look at stuff like lighting, flooring, appliances, etc. and try to get a bit more figured out.

All in all it feels like we are back on track and making progress. I don't have a revised move in date yet, but I'll add that as soon as we figure something out. Now that the general contractor has access to the main dome to work that schedule should be forthcoming.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Catching up

It feels like it has been forever since I wrote anything here, but we have been out of town on vacation and it was rather difficult to actually see any progress while out of town. The good news is, however, that there was progress made.

The main dome shell is now effectively finished. The smooth finish coat has been applied everywhere and it looks like there is 4" of concrete in all places (or more). There are a few places (like under the windows) where the section that was intended to be vertical is noticeably bowed out due to the inflation pressure so it resembles something like a 5/8 dome (but not as extreme). The consequence of this will manifest itself as the general contractor, who was expecting to anchor a 2x4 to the wall and go, has to figure out how to attach the walls to this curve. Also the wall outlets look a bit strange under the windows. The floor has been swept clean and all the debris from the spraying has been cleaned out. The next step is to work to level the slab from the ripples that were present during the initial pouring. Note to future builders, make sure the foundation is poured well initially. Going back and leveling it after the fact is tedious, time consuming, and expensive.

The garage looks to be finished. The airlock is now cut off and the inside appears to be completely covered. I think there are a few spots of cover up they still need to do, but all in all it's done.

The auxiliary dome has the airform stretched in place and the airlock and fan sitting next to it. They still have to apply the metal bands that actually attach the airform to the slab, but that can easily be done in a day and then inflate it. My guess is that they will get it ready to inflate today and leave for the weekend and come back first thing Monday and inflate it.