When we got started on this project we never thought the permit process would take SO long! Matt was still on deployment when we found the 3 acre lot in Lake Riverside and we didn’t want to make any decisions with him being gone. So my dad decided to purchase the lot before someone else bought it. When Matt came home in April 2014, we took him out to the property and he loved it! He was defiantly hesitant because it was a lot to take in all at once, but he believed in us when we said that a house could go on the lot and that we knew what we were doing.
Anyways, my mom started to draw up the plans in the Fall of 2014. They were completed and submitted to the county around March of 2015. My mom, Matt, and I were all hopeful and thought they would pass the first time around. My dad on the other hand thought that the plans would get rejected at least once. We waited about two weeks to hear back from them and when we heard from them it was a postcard marked ” Plans declined and ready for pick up”. My mom was very upset. So she went to pick them and went back at it. We turned them in again around May and once again, they were declined. This was an uproar in our house. My mom had never been declined twice before.
She was discouraged and we did not resubmit until later in the summer. Finally in September of 2015 our plans were passed!! The day Matt and I found out the plan had passed we were so discouraged we weren’t even that excited or jumping with joy like mom. We were just so relieved that we could finally get started.
We started construction in September and have been working hard ever since. The last post I wrote was about the shed. Once the shed was completed it was time to get down to business. It was October when Matt and my dad started to dig trenches. Trenches are deep, long holes that outline the house. Our trenches are 24 inches wide and 18 inches deep. That is two feet across and over a foot down! The trenches play a pivotal part in the structure and stability of the home. With the type of trenches we were required to create, our house is not going anywhere!
Matt and our friend J.T. spent a lot of long days digging and digging and digging. It took Matt an entire month to dig and jack hammer all of the trenches that outline the house.
Before you can even put a shovel in the ground, you first have to make batten boxes to square your building. Batten boxes are perfect square rectangles that ensure that where you dig is the correct spot. They also ensure that your corners will be 90 degrees. The tall rectangles you see sticking out the ground are batten boxes.
In order to dig the trenches you have to run a piece of string from one batten box to the other. Where the string lies is the outside of the trench. So he had to go in 24 inches from the string towards the middle of the building. This is the trench for the outside of the garage.
Here is a higher view of what the trenches look like. The one on the left is the outside of the living room and kitchen. The middle one is below the stairwell and goes to the front and back of the house. The one on the far right is the outside of the garage. You can also see the water tank and shed in this picture. Click on the links to learn more about those steps.