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Posted by Alan in La Habra Heights, CA on 8/16/2007

The work has finally really started. It took about two weeks to dig a massive hole in the ground and some of the basic grading around the site. I've also finally gotten around to uploading some photos, so I'll post a bunch. 

Photos: demo, grading, basement excavation, trenches for retaining wall. The photos of the super steep area in the back is where the massive new concrete deck is going in.

Some background on the pics - basement is 10' deep, approx 2,800 sq. feet in size. The retaining walls that the trenches are being dug for are part of approx. 1,200 linear feet of retaining wall that needs to be put in, not including the basement or deck in back. The deck in back is a little over 1,000 sq feet in size. At the far end it will be approx. 25 feet off the ground. Before anyone gets the great idea of a massive basement or concrete deck, let's point out that they are going to cost over $100K each... certainly not the cheapest part of the project...

The deck in back is interesting - it consists of 14 caissons, 2' diameter each, 20 feet into bedrock. Then there's a grade beam, about 2'x2' that connects the tops of each of the caissons (grade beam is partially buried in the ground - should be touching bedrock). On top of the grade beam they build a concrete block wall. When they get it to grade, they shore it and pour an 8" concrete deck over the top - it basically forms a big box. I can't wait to see it actually happen.

The basement also had a little catch - the lid over the top of it is 12" of concrete, rather than wood subfloor. This will make the basement like a large box also and will be made to withstand almost anything thrown at it (such as a massive earthquake).

A funny(?) fact about the project - we're expecting to use about 1,000 yards of concrete for everything - probably end up more like 1,200... that's 120 truckloads... can't even imagine where it's all going to go.

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