Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Grain Bin House: The Foundation, Part 1.


 

 
Two days ago Foster Mechanics of Paxton, Illinois started on our new home. Although they have installed many grain bins for their intended purpose of grain storage; this is their first grain bin home or GBH as I shall hence refer to it.

Arriving early Friday morning they worked hard all day. I was impressed with owner Phil Fosters way of operating his small backhoe while giving directions to his two man crew simultaneously. A true multi-tasker. No matter how many times we walked up the hill from our work site to their work site there was never once, one of them just standing about; always each man was working on a task. They also did a fantastic job of asking us lots of questions, clarifying how and why we wanted specific things done and double checking if unclear.

Watching these guys out dig out the diameter of our new home was thrilling. I had no idea a large circle of dirt could make me so giddy.





From there a trench was dug,  around the GBH footprint, 3 feet deep and 30 inches wide. This "moat" was filled with 18 inches of road rock gravel, sprayed with water and pounded down hard. This gravel footing will serve as the bottom of the concrete GBH foundation to be poured in the next few days. We are expecting rain today (Sunday) so pour date will be based on how much precipitation we get.






 
 
 
 
They also measured out the lines for our new septic system and dug the pit for our 750 gallon concrete septic tank which was delivered and put in place the afternoon of the first day. We had not planned or budgeted for this septic system, hoping to do a grey water system for our GBH water since we were going to use the compost toilet for solid waste but of course we ran into issues with Illinois Public Health ( a trend for us)  Seems there are no grey water codes in Illinois, and if there are no codes IDPH considers any actions outside of those codes to be illegal.  I'll discuss that in detail with our septic system costs, in a future post.





The septic tank had to be filled with water at the end of the day to avoid possible shifting and re-digging in the event of large amounts of rain prior to final hookup to the leach field. So after the first 10 hour work day we can see our new home taking shape quickly. Tomorrow I'll show you what they did on day 2, another highly productive day.

8 comments:

  1. A grain bin house - sounds fascinating. Can't wait to see more...

    Tell me about municipal regulations - applicable to some and not others. Bleh!!

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    1. Harder to wade through than just the regulations themselves...is the political relationships between those in (too much) power. Who to talk to when? Who REALLY makes the final decisions? Who NOT to tick off. It is exhausting at times. At least we are not in Cook County (Chicago) where payoffs to county officials require second mortgages.

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  2. I love the whole process of starting something from raw materials and ending up with an object of function. I think id be camped out at the building site all day. This really is going to be interesting. Certainly ive not heard of one in Oz.

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    1. We too are so excited about all the possibilities. We know we'll make mistakes but that learning curve is one fun ride

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  3. Looking forward to the follow ups, fascinating.

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    1. Thank you Susan. Starting a whole new life in your 50's is a thrill and we often joke about what new thing we'll try in our 70's. I'm leaning towards belly-dancing.

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  4. I'm catching up on my blog reading so am late with my comment. If you want a grey water system, dig a second trench and route the washer and sink pipes there. Wait to dig the trench until after the inspection of the septic tank trench, if your town requires inspections before next steps can go on.

    I suppose if you're really gifted with engineering skills, you can have a diverter where you can switch the grey water pipes from grey to black water as seems fit.

    I wanted to do the same as you, but I wasn't allowed to, either, and only found out years later about the second trench after inspection, nod, nod, wink, wink from someone else who'd done it at her house. Older homes having this set-up were grandfathered with the understanding that if their septic tanks failed, they'd have to convert everything then.

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  5. It looks like that is going to be a big grain bin house. That will surely take a lot of time and effort, so I'm excited to see how it will turn out. I hope you can share many photos of it to us soon. Thanks for sharing, Donna!


    Refugia Stein @ Container Domes

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