Week 4: Backfill

By now, I’m going a little nuts watching all the activity next door without having much of a role to play. Every day, I show up a couple of times and say hello to the crew and snap some photos. No telling what goes through their minds, but they are always … courteous, if only because I’m paying the bill. I mess with the pond. I mess with the barn. But I make it a point not to get too involved, because I know that sooner or later, the shit is going to hit the fan.

With the foundation poured and sealed, the next step is affixing rigid foam insulation on the outside, And several pallets of it have been delivered to the job site.  Nothing much to it, and it took a day to get it done, using half a dozen nails per sheet.



They filled the garage with sand and tamped it down good with something that was closer to a thick pogo stick than a vibrator. It took 2 solid days of running this compactor to fill the garage.

They laid perforated drainage pipes around the perimeter by the footings, covered them with gravel, and landscape fabric before backfilling about half-way up the wall with mound sand. Walker has a lot of jobs going on, so only 1 truck is assigned to bring sand and gravel to the site but it’s enough. The move one bucket at a time from the pile to the foundation, using the excavator, and excavators are not built for speed, so it is slow going, especially near the far side of the house. They don’t want to pack it down for fear that a still-green foundation wall will be knocked over. When the floor system goes on, they will add more dirt near the walls.


Digging the trench to daylight, they finally ran into a rock they couldn’t move. Not a big deal. I can’t quite believe that no blasting was required for the whole job.




Half the week and all weekend, there was a lot of food and family, as Ella had flown out for Adam’s wedding at Sugarbush. But that’s another story.

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