(Jeremy) A busy week indeed. The foundation was excavated, footings and drain lines were installed and Superior Walls delivered and installed the precast foundation. All that was done Monday and Tuesday! From there we ran into a snag of needing a lot more fill to backfill around the foundation than originally estimated. Fortunately our new neighbor, Troy, was quick to point out a huge mound of fill he needed removed from his property and voila, problem solved (oh, and an additional $3500 for the excavator to supply the machinery and equipment). We're getting very familiar with change orders from the GC!
So on Wednesday he started breaking up the fill and bringing it to the site. We decided to have them install a layer of gravel inside the foundation over the dirt to prevent any capillary action into the 3" of rigid insulation above. The insulation was then installed over the entire area inside the foundation - two layers of 1.5" rigid foam insulation (EPS - Encapsulated Polystyrene), with the joints staggered for better thermal barrier. We also had them install an additional two inches of insulation against the inside of the foundation walls. This was in addition to the 1" of rigid insulation that was installed in the factory. So what are we doing with all this insulation inside our foundation? We're creating a huge heat sink under the house. This "earthbox" as we're referring to it, is 3' of sand directly under the slab. On Friday, they brought in the sand and put 18" of it into our foundation walls (on top of the insulation) and compacted it well. On Saturday, Karann and I spent a good part of the day laying down 1200 linear feet of radiant tubing (7/8" PEX). We read the installation manual from Radiant Floor Company and designed the three 400 foot loops the night before. We were surprised how easy it was (although hard on the backs and knees). Monday, our heating contractor will pressure test the system and on Tuesday the building inspector will inspect everything allowing the excavator to install and compact the remaining 18" of sand. The first major component of our home complete.