Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Big Dig

Well for two days we have been playing in the mud. Excavation and rain, what a combination! Our excavator (Rankel Excavating) got right into it with his Bobcat skid steer, followed by a mini excavator. First thing we uncovered was the old poured concrete septic tank. Luckily it was mostly empty and dry. The big surprise was uncovering a cistern constructed out of clay brick. Apparently these were installed in the homes back 70 years ago to act as a catch basin for the laundry room in the rear basement of the house. Anyway, out it came.

On day one we filled 5 dump trucks with clean fill which got trucked to a dump north of the city. The remains of the septic tank were disposed of elsewhere. The excavation had to be 9 feet below the bottom of the existing floor joists so that eventally we will have 8 foot ceiling height in our new basement area. Rankel used a high tech laser level to dig to the proper depth.

Day two we removed three more truck full of fill and left a huge pile in the rear yard for backfill. Progress was a bit slower on day two. This was mostly because Rankel had to dig the last of the hole as he backed out our driveway. This was the only way to accomplish the task and get the mini excavator out as our driveway was going to be too narrow once the excavation was completed.

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