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Lakefront Log Home Project: Log Home Diary Entry #18, Excavating and Laying the Foundation Pt. 4

As the basic building installation continues on their home, our bloggers find themselves more acquainted with their inspector than they ever wanted to be.
by George and Marlyn Curnow
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Southwestern Virginia log home project | Open Space

Excavating and Laying the Foundation — Part 4

Log Home Diary Entry #18

OK, everything has been going way too smoothly. It’s time for some problems.

While the foundation cured, building materials were moved from the storage area on the future septic field to an area adjacent to the building site, making everything ready for quick access. At about the same time, the plumber arrived to dig trenches under the soon-to-be-poured cement floor for laying the PVC sanitary drainpipes. This process went well, and at the end, the plumber sealed the pipes and put a pressure gauge on the end. It was pumped up to the proper pressure to show there are no leaks, and the inspector was called to check and verify that there are no leaks and check the plumbing for proper drainage.

We kind of felt like the last inspection went uncharacteristically well. We were right. It took the county inspector four to five days to come out. (There must be a building boom that we simply are not aware of.) The plumbing pipes are not intended to hold pressure for multiple days. That is not the purpose. So the inspection failed because pressure had been lost.

Trying to set a firm date with the inspector isn’t the way things are done. We needed to get the pressure test redone, call the inspector and hope that he wouldn’t drag his feet again. Fortunately, he showed up and the inspection passed. Days were lost, winter was closing in, and we were nowhere near having this house under roof. Each of these delays caused anxiety.

Quickly, gravel was laid in the basement in preparation for the cement to be poured. Another inspection was required. The inspector failed the gravel because he said he wanted Styrofoam insulation put under the gravel wherever the outside wall was exposed to air. This is a new unannounced requirement that the county decided to make, so our builder came back in, removed half the gravel, laid the insulation and put the gravel back as instructed.

The inspector came out again and failed the inspection again. He forgot to tell our builder that he wanted the insulation to go up the wall on the inside of the foundation to the top of the gravel. No problem — but his instructions didn’t say this the first time, so the work needed to be redone. These guys love the power of authority.

We’re losing patience. Fortunately, our builder kept his cool. He is used to these shenanigans and has learned to cope with it. All we can do is hope to deal with it in the voting booth at some day in the future. So excuse my venting. Finally, the inspection of the floor has now passed.

Now, we need cement. The saga of delays continues in Part 5.

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