Thursday, August 29, 2013

Diggin' some holes

So this is where we left off with the deck progress.

The old deck and planter are gone, now we just need to get those holes dug for the footings.

So, naturally, we tried ourselves.  We went to the local rental place, which has everything you could possibly want to rent, and got ourselves a 12in, two person, gas auger.  We can do this, right?

Well the answer to that is a big fat NO.  J and I tried.  J and his dad tried.  It was a no go.  Why you ask?

Because of this bad boy.  Not the actual stump, but the roots that had been supporting the tree.  The have pretty much taken over the lawn and we were not able to get one hole dug.  We got close.  We got one three foot hole done, but that was it.

So we had to give in and bring the auger back.  That was $100 down the drain.  I felt pretty deflated at this point.

But we started looking around and found a local guy that said he could come out and dig the holes for us.  Unfortunately we had to wait another week, because he was on vacation.  Sad face.  That's another week of no work getting done and another week closer to J starting school.  I am starting to think this deck won't get done until next spring.  Super Sad Face.

But we waited and yesterday he showed up with this.

He brought the big guns, he brought the Mustang.  Now if that bad boy couldn't dig the holes, I don't know what could.

Here's a covert picture I got while he was digging the holes.  I didn't want to be in the way, so I just took pictures from the porch.

The first few holes were a breeze.  He would hit a rock here or there and have to get out and try to manually dig it up, but it seemed to be going well.  There were six new holes in the ground, but then I started digging closer to that tree stump that has caused us so much misery.  It was slow going and I was scared that it wasn't going to be going at all.  That would mean that we had six huge holes in our yard, a bill for the landscaping guy to come out, and still no deck.  I cringed the whole time he dug.

The first hole was done by the tree.  I was starting to breath a little sigh of relief.  But then it came time to to dig by the gas lines.  We called diggers hotline and had them mark (twice just for good measure) the gas and electric lines and I knew we had plenty of room (you need to stay at least 18in away from the gas lines to use powered machinery), but it still scared me.  Just one wrong move and we could have a gas leak or worse yet an explosion.  So I just held my breath and let the man do his job.

Now we were up to 11 holes and all was well.  That left the last two difficult holes.  Fingers crossed this worked.  My anxiety got the better of me and I had to go inside.  Damn anxiety.  But after only an hour and a half, we had 13 footings ready to be inspected.  Okay a few of them have to be finished a bit, but for the most part they are done.  We felt pretty silly for trying it ourselves.  But you live and learn.

Now the downside of having the tree stump and all the roots, the contractor had to use an 18 inch auger.  That's 6 inches bigger then what we needed.  But J assured me that it was okay and we would still pass inspection.  We would just have to explain to the inspector what happened.  But that's okay, we now had thirteen 18 inch that were 4 feet deep.

Now we have to wait for the inspector.  I'm really hopping that he can come out in the next couple days to measure and give us the okay.  Then we can pour the concrete and maybe start on some of the build by the weekend.  Fingers crossed.

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