So we finally managed to get the waterproofing done at the start of September - during that wonderful stretch of fine weather that has now left us. We then spent the Saturday and Sunday installing reinforcing! Not something that I am in a hurry to do again I have to say. My legs were killing me on Monday. I could hardly walk.
Then we had the slab inspected by the engineers (and council) on Tuesday. The inspection by the engineer threw up one major issue, namely that I had laid out the starter bars 100mm off the edge of the slab, beautifully for 200mm concrete blocks. But at 8pm on Monday night Sylvie from Markplan rang to remind me that the design was actually for 250mm concrete blocks and therefore the starters needed to be at 125mm. Not a major, we could easily adjust that. However the bigger issue was that is made me question what size of blocks we had on site. Well they turned out to be 200mm blocks! Pallets and pallets of them. Disaster.
So I had to quickly call Firths the next day, own up to my idiocy and request that the blocks on site get taken back and the correct sized blocks delivered to site. Firths were amazing and managed to arrange all this within a couple of days for me. And they also super kindly agreed to waive the 25% restocking fee that they usually charge. We are very blessed to have them on board as supporters.
This block problem was then swiftly compounded by an over order of concrete for the slab pour. I realised after the fact that what had happened was when I originally placed the order for concrete (so to get a booking) I didn't know how much concrete we would need, so we just put in a place holder amount of 10m3. But then the pour got delayed about 5 times. And by the time we were ready to actually pour I had forgotten this, right up until Joel poked his head in the window to say that we had ordered far too much concrete and what were we going to do with the excess. So we ended up dumping an extra 2.5m3 on site over the water tanks. Quite a useful pad in the end actually as that is where they concrete blocks have now been stacked. Still another waste of around $700 that we can't afford. In addition to the $1000 that it cost us to get the blocks taken away and then redelivered.
Time to slow down and think ahead and plan a bit more!
The basement managed to progress itself quite nicely through September, even though the weather has been terrible and we still have no solution to the basement roof issue! We've gotten the first half of the blockwork walls up and concreted in place and we are now able to backfill against that so we can then construct the remainder of the block work walls.
The problem is that until we come up with a revised basement roof design we can't concrete the second layer of block work, as we don't know what starter reinforcing needs to go in. However we are still moving forward and now that all the Equus - De Boer waterproofing (all Red List compliant in case you are interested!) has been installed we hope to get the rest of the block work put in. We can also backfill up to the height of the existing blockwork without having to prop the walls so we will be doing that as well.
Then the next step will be to excavate and pour the strip footings for the one bedroom unit! Of course we can't start on the rammed earth for the walls of that until we get our stage 2 building consent. We applied for that in August but it still hasn't been looked at. I'm expecting a massive RFI on it so I hope they look at it soon as we need to get that issued as well so we can start with the fun stuff!
We've also manage to progress the development of the first two ETS (envapotranspiration) beds. They were mostly constructed but the drama was that we couldn't work out how many holes to drill in the Red List compliant Marley black piping to allow the required amount of grey water to come out of the pipes into the ETS beds. I've been working on that particular problem for 3-4 months now and we finally gave up this weekend and just drilled holes in the pipe, and then threaded it through it through the also Red List compliant Marley drainage coil. It is now ready to be buried in the ETS beds (once we can get more soil delivered to site
We also went to Rogers Garden Centre on Friday to stock up on additional water hungry plants to add into the ETS beds. We need to get these established as they have to be ready to 'suck' up all our grey water before we can move into the first stage of the Living House (the future Air BNB one bed room unit). As you can see the beds are still looking pretty empty so we have many more plants that we will need to source and put into the beds once we have covered up the drain coil with top soil.