One of our current projects involves pouring quite possibly the most challenging foundation we’ve ever undertaken. Not that we shy away from a challenge!
The project, a complete teardown and new build on Eagle Bay Road, is on a typically steep lakefront lot. It’s a complex site with a sloping grade that requires us to first form, pour and backfill the lower foundation for the main house, and then form and pour the footings and foundation for the upper garage. The process involves specialized structural and geotechnical engineering – for example, we’re backfilling with two to six inch rock beneath the garage footings, and using 15 mm rebar in a tight grid in the footings and foundation walls due to soil composition and height.
After initial delays due to permitting, we’re entirely on schedule with the foundation process, thanks to the skills and efforts of our excavation contractor, Darcy Lessard, and our foundation and framing crew led by Steven Neufeld. This has allowed us to complete our underslab plumbing and prepare the basement for radiant heat installation (you can see the PEX pipe laid out in one of the photos below). Our pressure tests and inspections for this plumbing work have all passed with flying colours.
This week, we’ll pour the basement slab, along with the garage footings and wall. Often we’ll wait to pour a slab until the roof is on in order to provide protection from the elements. But the projected sunny weather this week is allowing us to proceed with the slab now, saving our clients money on concrete heating and hoarding costs if we had waited until the roof was complete.
This truly is a Copper Island Fine Home. As such, it features premium grade lumber, as opposed to standard construction grade. This lumber is just one step below Japanese-grade lumber, recognized as the best in the world. Using this lumber minimizes stud warping, checking, wall movements and drywall cracking down the road. We’re also employing a steel moment frame for structural stability on the lakefront wall, as prescribed by our structural engineers to limit wall movement due to significant volumes of glass. This is on site and ready for installation once the main floor is sheeted.
Trusses, windows, exterior doors and roofing are all ordered, and sub-trades scheduled. We’re continuing to place more emphasis on pre-ordering well in advance to curb supply challenges brought by COVID-19.
We’re extremely pleased with our progress, which should allow us to achieve our goal of having the roof sheeted and the entire structure weatherproofed before the snow really starts to fly.