Thanks to a fantastic job by Eric Riley and his crew from Superior Walls, as well as a termite treatment by Brown Exterminating Company, and of course, George Lewis of C & L Excavation, our new foundation has passed inspection!
Dinwiddie County gives their stamp of approval. Hooray!
Next step, the slab prep…
holes for back deck support posts
holes for front porch support posts
slab, support post and stair prep
George has regraded the back (lake side) so there is a gradual slope out onto the old road
rocks from the foundation dig placed along the old road for erosion control
Dave arrived bright and early Friday morning, did a little fishing and awaited the arrival of Eric Riley and his crew from Superior Walls Foundations. Although overcast, it was a beautiful morning on the lake, the early fall air cool and quiet. I stayed behind to get Max off to school then headed down, not wanting to miss out in witnessing the first level of our log home being put into place.
The crew arrived at 7:20 to prep the ground before the amazing production began.
The crane and two trucks carrying our foundation walls arrived soon after.
The crane made it safely up the steep drive, but now it was time to get the heavy trucks, weighed down by the heavy concrete walls, up top to the home site.
Eric and George discuss how to get the trucks up the hill
Eric watches as the truck tries to back onto the drive
and tries again…
After several attempts, it was clear that the heavy truck was not going to make it up the hill. All seemed lost for a moment. But wait…
what’s that I see in the distance…it’s….it’s….it’s GEORGE, come to save the day on his mighty bulldozer!
never fear, GEORGE is here!
one of the crew pulls the tow chain from the bulldozer to hook up to the truck
Eric helps secure the tow chain
I think I can…
I think I can…
I think I can…
I KNOW I can…
I KNOW I can!
Eric supervises as the truck successfully makes the steep turn in the drive
Todd Hawkes, who had previously put in the ATV trails for us, popped by to watch. We had yet to meet him in person so we were very happy to finally meet him face to face. He will be taking over as contractor for the mechanicals so we will be seeing a lot more of him in the coming weeks! It was much fun having our three trusty contractors all on site at the same time.
Dave with Todd Hawkes
Todd and Eric head up to the work site
Todd and Eric deep in discussion
Eric and George…
Dave and Todd
Having successfully pulled the trucks to the top of the hill, George takes off and Eric Riley and his team from Superior Walls take over the production.
Eric and his crane operator discuss where the crane should be set
the crane is put in place
we brought chairs to sit in but were too excited to sit down most of the time
the first wall is put into place
Dave takes a break from watching and checks in with his office
the last wall is lowered
and, the outer walls are in place!
Eric watches, pleased at the progress
While Eric and his team were busy putting our foundation in place, we received a call that our port-a-john had arrived. Hooray, no more potty tent for us!
Meanwhile, Eric’s crew puts in the fireplace foundation.
the final wall is lifted
one of the crew members draws the short straw and has to stay on the inside as the last wall comes down
nope, wouldn’t want to be him
The last wall in place, we head inside to check out our new basement!
Eric and Dave check out the completed foundation
meanwhile, the crew member that had been sealed into the fireplace chase, finds his way out
me, standing infront of what will be french doors leading out onto the old road
our breakfast room will be on the floor above this spot so we should have a beautiful view of the lake from there!
Three hours from start to finish, our foundation is complete and Eric and his crew, take off.
Eric poses for one last photo with Dave
the crew load up their gear and take off down the old road toward the dam
Dave demonstrates what the walls will eventually look like once we cover them with stone
As usual, I couldn’t resist taking a few more photos of the lake before we left for the day. The cloud cover had lifted, leaving a beautiful deep blue sky overhead…
It seemed to be fairly smooth sailing for George for the first seven days, (at least from our perspective!) and then, on the eighth day….
halfway through the final wall of the dig, he hit a rock wall…because of the huge rock bluff on the other side of the property, before excavation began we had discussed the possibility that the entire area was resting on one huge rock formation
we were all much relieved up to this point that George had encountered no such problem…till he hit this wall that is
but never fear, with the right tools, anything can be accomplished and a few hours later, George had broken through the rock and completed the dig for the foundation
and here I am, checking out the cool rock formation
looking towards the lake with the rock wall to the left
we had much fun watching as he moved the boulders off the site
a few of the giant boulders he pulled out
and more rocks!
the smaller rocks were placed along the edge of the old road for erosion control
Somehow, I had assumed that George had a team of workers helping him with the excavation and didn’t realize till yesterday that he’s been doing this entire project himself. I didn’t think I could be anymore impressed with him than I was before, but I was mistaken. George Lewis, you are AWESOME!!!
George, after playing in the dirt all day
we’ve just told George we’re posting his picture on our blog. 🙂
surveying his line
since he works be himself, every time he checks his line he has to prop the pole against one of his oversized tonka toys
Dave happily steps in to lend a hand
Dave and George discussing what comes next
George has all the best toys…
By Wednesday evening, George had cleared the land, put in the driveway, completed the excavation, and prepped the ground for the foundation and concrete slab. We are sufficiently impressed!
George rakes out the gravel before finishing for the eveing
George wasted no time and by Monday evening had finished clearing the site and begun the foundation dig.
Here’s a little video of George in action digging out the basement and prepping the site for the foundation…
The excavator is resting on the old road with the lake to the right and cabin site to the left. Notice that the shelf that was along the road to the left is now gone. Fortunately George didn’t encounter a huge slab of rock, as we had feared, given that the giant rock bluff that we call Waffles Ridge is just to the left of the cabin site!
Dave had gone into Dinwiddie, Sept 5th, in order to fill out the necessary paperwork for our building permit appliction, taking with him several sets of engineered plans, property title, site sketch as well as the various other items required by the county. The entire process was only supposed to take a week to ten days and we were really hoping for no hang ups since we had already arranged for the foundation to be put in on the 20th. Fortunately, we lucked out… there were no issues and our permit was issued yesterday! We can now legally build AND we have our very own official address for the cabin!!!
Not expecting excavation to begin till Friday, we were rather surprised when we received word from George Lewis of C & L Excavation, this past Monday that he’d already started clearing the driveway and home site! Apparently the job he had scheduled ahead of us was delayed because the correct permits hadn’t come in, so he went ahead and started on our place that morning. WOOHOO…it has finally begun!!!! Dave left work a little early and as soon as Max got home from school we hopped in the 4Runner and headed down to check out the progress. We were amazed at how much he’d already accomplished in a day….
the driveway entrance from Colemans Lake Rd
walking up the drive toward the cabin site
view from the front of the cabin site
looking back up at the cabin site from the old road
Dave and Max walking along the old road in front of the cabin site
looking down the road toward the dam
the lake from the old road
sun reflecting on the rock along the side of Waffles Ridge
I love the exposed roots on these old trees
Dave and Max check out the lake before we head home
Tuesday, Sept 10
Having only roughed in the drive and cabin site, George asked us to meet him on site Tuesday, to discuss which of the larger trees he should take down as he refined the clearing and what to do with the fallen timber and debris. We want to keep the hardwood logs to use for various woodworking projects so he agreed to clean those up and leave them along the old road in front of the cabin site. The rest, rather than hauling offsite, we decided would just go over on the other side of the property back near the ATV trail as this would save both time and money.
Dave and George going over the foundation plans
discussing the next steps
view of the lake from the home site
Sunday, Sept 15
By the weeks end, George had finished clearing the site, removed all the debris and had brought in 8 truck loads of crush and run gravel for the driveway. Can I just say here that we LOVE George Lewis! He has been such a pleasure to work with, has gone above and beyond what was expected and offered his advice and expertise in areas that we were unsure of. The entire direction of the driveway and the idea to put in a cul-du-sac turning area down toward the entrance, were all his idea, keeping the view of the cabin private from the road, while making the steep grade as gradual as possible. We can only hope that every contractor we deal with during this building process will be as wonderful to work with as he has been.
we have a driveway!
we’d been warned that it was a little dusty
looking back down toward the entrance
George created a cul-du-sac where the driveway turns so that larger vehicles will be able to better make the sharp turn from the road
view of the drive from Colemans Lake Rd
Dave, walking down the old road toward the dam
hardwood logs for future projects
view of the lake from the cabin site
view of the cabin site from our picnic area
checking out the plans so we can re-stake the cabin area
Max walking along the old road in front of the homesite
the beautiful sky over the cabin site
we three Kings standing on our future cabin site
looking back up at the cabin site from the old road
We also had word this week from Todd Hawkes, (the local contractor who’d been referred to us by our neighbors to lay our ATV trails) that he’d finally been back down this week to finish. He had completed half the trail back in the spring, but due to the frequent rains we had this spring and summer, he hadn’t been able to finish till now. We were totally psyched to not only be able to check out our newly cleared land, but to test out our newly completed trails as well!!!!
pile of debris from cabin site at the trail entrance
entering the trail
so far so good
Mom, you still back there?
and this is where it got interesting…I took it a little too fast and head on, went up on two wheels, thought for sure I was going to flip over! It’s possible that the “F” word escaped my lips
Max took it a little slower but got stuck
Dave shows us how we were SUPPOSED to do it
back in action
someone else has already discovered our new trails…turned out to be one of our neighbors! Dave told him to feel free to use them anytime as we know that good trails are hard to find…we don’t mind sharing in the fun!
Max and I heading back out at the end of the trail
George will finish up early next week and the foundation is scheduled to be put in next Friday. Yep, things are pretty exciting around here…
After months of talking about joining us at the lake, the Astroths and the Hunt/Barnums, finally found some free time in their busy social calendars and headed down with us Labor Day weekend for a little end of the summer fun…Steve Duval and his son, Ethan, were waiting for us when we arrived. We spent a full day kayaking, fishing, skeet shooting, riding ATV’s and dirt bikes. I do believe a good time was had by all!
We three Kings, the Hunt/Barnums and the Astroths
Steve, Ethan, Dave, Brian and Max check out the lake
Lynne changes into more sensible shoes
while Jared and Laura explore the property
Dave pulls out the toys
Lynne checks out Max’s favorite tree “Bilbo”
Max shows Ethan Waffles’ Ridge
a little fishing and kayaking…
time to head up top…
Brian and Dave load up the ATVs and head up to Waffles Ridge
meanwhile, Max helps put up the potty tent 🙂
our new makeshift toilet…thank you Dave, there is no off to the genius switch
this is me, showing Lynne Dave’s thoughtful creation
Lynne and Max set up the table
an uninvited guest…eeeeeek!
this is very serious business you know
Max decides it’s time to roast marshmallows NOW
our pie filling options….
a little after dinner target practice….
Laura shoots her first .22
and appears quite happy with her marksman skills
Jared is up next
and last but not least, me
Max finally works up the courage to shoot the shot gun!
not too bad for a first timer Max!
Laura moves on to the shotgun
look, I hit the target!!!
Max and Laura put up a new target
Jared’s up next
Brian takes a turn
Dave teaches Lynne how to shoot the shotgun
nice job Lynne
Lynne and Laura show off their handy work
Laura shows off her first timer’s souvenir 🙂
now for some fun on wheels…
Cinqué, high five
We left the lake as we found it, calm and serene…completely unaware of the activity that will descend upon it in the coming weeks.