Modern Farmhouse – Squaring Up the Foundation
Thanks for joining our Modern Farmhouse Squaring up the Foundation post! After the lot is cleared it is time to lay out the foundation. This is a critical time in the construction, and mistakes at this point can become serious problems later. This lot has a side slope, and we need to know exactly how water will drain around the house. There is a creek across a back corner. There is a septic system with rules and regs. All is a tight fit, and there is no room for error.
Jim needs to know every change in ground level, where building setback lines are, and how every tree will impact the construction. We have one large Oak tree in front that we decided keep in place even though it encroaches into the driveway a little. We changed the plan to a single extra large garage door to allow cars more room to maneuver around the tree.
This is why Jim is a measuring fanatic. He measures everything and plots it out on paper and on the ground. Our foundation guy put up batter boards – temporary frameworks to hold strings. The strings are critical to building the foundation exactly as shown on the plans.
But something seemed wrong. The actual measurements on the ground were not matching the dimensions on the survey. Here’s an email Jim sent to an engineer friend:
Because I accepted that the survey must be correct, I have spent hours and hours going back out there in the heat trying to analyze what I was doing wrong. Then many more hours fooling around with the drawing on the computer trying to come up with a new strategy for resolving the huge discrepancies between distances which I knew I should have and what I was actually getting on the ground. Sons Matthew and Jim spent many of those hours out there helping me try to solve the puzzle. I was almost convinced that I shouldn’t be doing this kind of thing anymore.
And, it turned out, something was wrong. Something was very wrong! The surveyor had marked our lot corners on his survey as 2.5 feet beyond our property line. So we had an incorrect survey. Matt and Jim found both rear pins, which the surveyor had not bothered to uncover. Wow! Thanks to Jim-Bo for insisting on measurement closure.
But that’s construction – you have to deal with your problems where you find them.
Thanks for visiting our Modern Farmhouse – Squaring up the Foundation – post! We have more to follow as this home gets built. Feel free to reach out to us. We love to compare notes, and share ideas. And, if you need somebody, and not just anybody, to help you find a home or get your home sold, we’d love to hear from you! Remodeling is just an occasional diy hobby. We’re full time Realtors with over 30 years experience in Austin real estate.