Previous summer and fall:
Homeowners worked with Studio Z and the contractor to take the project from an initial concept to a fully elaborated design. Studio Z completes the final "construction documents" (blueprints and specifications) in the fall, and the plans are submitted to the city authorities for approval. Demolition of the existing deck and old garage takes place in December. Scheduling begins for the masonry subcontractor, who will dig and pour foundation footings.
The masons begin excavating for the foundation footings. They immediately discover a problem: an old cistern, used to collect rainwater long ago, is located precisely where the foundation for the new addition meets the house. See Expect the Unexpected (next page) for more details. Digging trenches for the garage footings proves uneventful.
Footings for the garage/office foundation are poured, using two full trucks worth of concrete.
The concrete block foundation for the garage office has been finished.
The old cistern has been emptied out, inspected, and filled up to the level of the footings with pea gravel. The footings for the addition are then poured.
The roof shingling has been finished, and the new back door has been hung in its opening. Since the addition is now weather-tight, interior work can begin.
Work resumes on the garage/office, anticipating the arrival of the structural insulated panels. The old concrete slab is removed (with some difficulty), and 4 inches of sand is compacted to form the base for the new slab; the sand is covered with a vapor barrier and wire mesh.
The slab for the new garage was poured after the prepared base was inspected by the city authorities.
The first batch of SIPs (structural insulated panels), including the downstairs and upstairs walls, arrive on site and are unloaded.
With some extra help, the crew raised the wall panels for the first floor of the garage/office, each of which were fabricated in one piece. This process would normally be accomplished with a crane, but the site is not large enough.
The second story floor and wall panels are erected.