Friday, November 14, 2014

Waiting for the concrete to dry. Then more yet to do!

All 56 piers now have been filled with concrete. We are waiting for them to dry. Because of the cold weather our contractor said "to be on the safe side" we need to wait until Monday (Nov. 17) or Tuesday (Nov. 18).

Two iron rods protrude about a foot above ground out of each pier. This is definitely not a place where anyone except the workers would want to walk, especially at night!

Next, the forms have to be put in place to pour the concrete for the beams, leaving a pathway for the truck and tire wheels which will pass over everything to position the house. The contractor said he also will have to "bend" the iron rods on the path the truck and tire wheels will move, then straighten them back up after the house is in place.

This next phase definitely will be rather complicated! But also lots of fun to watch. Glad we can stand at our bedroom window and from the warmth of the house watch all that is going on next door.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

"Drill, baby, drill!"

Despite the frigid temperatures, "them Rogers boys", as their sign says, are busy drilling the final holes for the 56 piers on which our newly acquired Pace House will sit.

Some piers vary in depth but most are at least 8-feet deep—a far better and more expensive foundation than the bois d'arc posts on which the house and most of Garland's oldest homes were originally built.

Several houses in the Garland's Travis College Hill Historic District still have at least some, if not all, of their original bois d'arc foundation posts, which have survived nearly 100 years.

The crew expects to finish all the drilling and have the iron bars inserted into the holes by noon today.

Next: inspections. Then: filling the holes with concrete. After that we move to Phase 2: concrete beams and Phase 3: the moving and final lowering of the house.

Nothing easy or inexpensive about this project!

UPDATE: At 3:30 p.m. today, the City of Garland building inspector approved everything (green carded us!), so pouring the concrete starts at 11 a.m. tomorrow (Thursday).

Sunday, November 9, 2014

We are enjoying and thankful for the continuing community interest in our Pace House project!

We thoroughly enjoy watching a handful of cars and pickups almost every day slow down or actually stop for a few moments in front of 317 S. 11th Street to catch a glimpse of the Pace House and the work going on there. Some people in these vehicles even take pictures from their windows or park and get out to take some "selfies" in front of the house.

And we also appreciate the positive and supportive comments people in the community make when we are out shopping, dining, or running other errands in Garland. I've even learned not to look shocked when someone I don't recognize approaches me—as if we are old friends—and starts talking in very specific and knowledgeable terms about all that is occurring in our Travis College Hill Historic District and with the Pace House. I am amazed at how many comment that they have driven down our street to get a personal visual update.

Yesterday we even had some Millennials (also known as Generation Y) say, "That's so cool!" Garland Mayor Douglas Athas tells me the Millennial Generation considers those words a high compliment.

PROGRESS REPORT: The site for the new pier-and-beam foundation has been thoroughly surveyed and marked. Don't even try to get close to it, because some of the twine used connecting all the various components isn't highly easy to see—as I have unfortunately learned a few times! The 8-foot metal forms that will go inside each of the 42 piers are mostly ready. Drilling the holes was supposed to occur yesterday (Saturday, November 8), but like all construction projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth area these days got delayed a day or two. We are hoping "them Rogers Boys", as their own promotional sign calls them, will be digging tomorrow. Maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to have our first official city inspection by Wednesday or Thursday!

More later.