Sunday, June 20, 2010

That's a LOT of dirt...

So the dig out is complete, but now comes the painstaking task of moving ALL the dirt I removed.  I haven't decided if I will make do with the excavator, or rent something with some more HP to move the dirt around (think bulldozer!).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

...and I'm over it

Day 1 with the Excavator was Epic!
Day 2 with the Excavator was Great!
Day 3 with the Excavator was a Learning Experience
Day 4 with the Excavator was Productive
Today with the Excavator was Pure Torture.

I put about 7 hours on the excavator today, and I don't really feel like I am much closer. I managed to move a whole bunch of dirt from one side of the pad to the other.... sure, I dug it out... but it didn't go very far away.

I am extremely fortunate to have this tool at my disposal, and it will end up saving me around $10,000 when all is said and done... but I can't help but feel like someone with some experience could have gotten this done MUCH faster.

I managed to borrow a self-leveling laser this weekend and have used it extensively. I don't know how the REAL contractors use it.. but I basically picked a spot on the lower road to be "grade" and have been digging down to that point everywhere on the pad. I dig, measure, paint, dig, measure, paint etc. etc. It was a LONG day...

...and I'm over it

Friday, June 18, 2010


Matt has been out almost every night after work to get more of the excavating done. We are so lucky that we have this equipment available to us and that Matt and Dad are sorting their way through doing themselves. A few nights I have brought Tyler and Token down to play in the dirt and watch Daddy dig under the pretense of getting a little family time in there. And really, who likes to dig alone???

Tyler is growing more comfortable with the big machinery, and now it totally ready to take charge.
Token, as always, remains fearless to a ridiculous level. But a dirty dog is a happy dog. Until Mom gets him home and forces him in the tub yet again. You play, you pay Token!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Rocky Road!

Pardon the ice-cream reference, but it was the only "Rock" and "Road" thing I could come up with.  Weak.. I know.

We have a driveway!

This weekend we started the dig-out for the daylight basement.  Dad took the reigns for the first few hours as we got some expert advice from our Contractor (Vern Wiles - Central Coast Excavating).  After about 6 hours of digging, we're partially through the back-wall!

It still amazes me that someone is going to make that flat and level!

View from the kitchen!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Release the Komatsu!

A big weekend on the house project!  We were joined this weekend by my sister and her husband (up from SF) for a birthday celebration, and to do some diggin!  Dad and I borrowed the Komatsu from CoastCom to begin the long tedious process of prepping the homesite.  One of the great things about Adair is the homeowner is responsible for a number of construction related activities, including site-prep work.  Granted, most people probably HIRE someone to do this... but not me!  Equipped with a new-ish excavator, and a rented tractor/mower... we tackled it head first!

Yeah, ok... that mentality lasted about 2 days.  I'm now in contact with someone that knows what they are doing to come help.  I'm not completely giving up on the DIY site prep.... but I now know why these guys make the money they do... it's REALLY hard to operate heavy machinery. (at least to do it right).

Regardless of our inadequacies with the excavator, we managed to get quite a bit accomplished this weekend. 

See those tree trunks? 

Trunks dug out, making way for the new driveway

Our first attempt at road building... someone else will do this lol

Upper area cleared out... mostly blackberries!  It's starting to feel landscapable

Komatsu: 1 Tree: 0