Actually, the house will have 22 piers, but that didn’t make such a good title. 🙂 Why do all the homes in my neighborhood have to be built on piers? I asked Jim to give me the Cliff’s Notes version, so here goes…
The prairie soil here is like clay, and if you built a house on a conventional slab, the foundation would crack because the ground contracts and swells with moisture. They figured out how to dig way down to get to stable soil. They drill 15 ft. deep holes and then fill them with rebar and concrete to make “feet” for the house to sit on. My house is small in comparison to most (about 1400 sq. ft.) so I can’t imagine how many piers the big mansions have. So the day they drilled the holes I made a huge pest out of myself asking lots of questions and taking pictures. Michael was patient with me and explained everything since I was so interested.
First, he used the bobcat (Jim wants to drive one of these for fun) to dig out the holes for the concrete.
I held on to my phone very tightly when I took this photo!
Now for the fun part. This weird truck/monster/machine came and parked on the street in front of the lot. It has “crab feet” that extend down so the truck won’t tip over when the big arm comes out.
The concrete truck parks behind it and feeds cement into the “arm” so it can fill the holes. Normally you wouldn’t need one of these, but my lot is very hard to access, so the arm has to reach over the sidewalk and all the way to the back of the lot to fill the holes. It was amazing to watch, but I am easily amused.
My neighbor took this one from her vantage point.
When they finished, the holes were filled and ready for the cinder block columns to be constructed over the rebar.
This will be fun to watch as well and I’m sure Michael is looking forward to my “company” while he does his work. He’s a very patient guy. 🙂