5. Excavation!

Monday, July 15th the Excavation Contractor came with all our favorite toys which can power thru things that shovels would take weeks to do.  Jim Fereira of Fereira Construction, Tahoe City, CA is the contractor and again we could not have asked for a better crew.  On time, efficient and work done right the first time.  The agenda:  1) take out 2 tree stumps;  2) create a drainage trench between our property and the neighbor down the hill from us; 3) cut in the trench required to move the electrical, cable & phone utilities underground; 4) dig the trenches for the garage/workshop foundation.

You may say-hey, move utilities underground was not listed on the scope! You would be right.  We realized that this is the time if ever to get rid of all the ugly wires from the telephone pole to the house and to remove possible winter issues with too much snow breaking the lines away from the house.  So–what’s one more trench!  Lucky for us we have our friend Vince to convince us that this is a good thing and to explain the process, so that when we call Truckee Donner Public Utility District we know some of the questions to ask so that we could get to the right person to walk us thru the process.

The stump removal…

The drainage ditch…

Two feet in from the property line a trench was dug and filled with gravel which we had delivered earlier.  The wattle (rolled straw) will be removed after all construction but the trench will stay to capture snow melt so that it will work its way into the ground and not just run down to the street. I’m not sure yet if it will also be covered with dirt after construction.  Time will tell!

Drainage trench

Drainage trench

The utilities trench…

We had to have more ‘special dirty sand’ delivered even though we had piles of dirt that had been dug up.  But that was the least of our worries.  Turns out this is tricky business! USA coordinates with all utilities for underground digging.  They notified the appropriate parties to come out and mark their line.  Southwest Gas knew exactly where the gas lines were.  However, the Sewer Department knew where the clean out was and had a hand drawn map from 1983 but said that the excavator should see a change in the dirt.    On top of that we shared the sewer line with the neighbor and the Sewer Department was not sure where it split off. Really! Our contractor had done many of these and assured us it would be OK. The new trench had to be threaded near these lines but with keeping certain distances. They did break a sewer line, but promptly fixed it.  Specific depths had to be dug and specific conduit put in for the electrical, sand separation and then separate conduit for phone lines and cable service.  Our contractor, Jim Fereira, was just such an expert!  He carefully curved the trench as needed and passed inspection from Truckee and the Public Utilities District without a hitch.

Special dirty sand was delivered

Special dirty sand was delivered

The few markings are the flags. Trench has to be on our property which is the narrow side past the yellow guidewire.

The few markings are the flags. Trench has to be on our property which is the narrow side past the yellow guide wire.

A different machine was used to trench than was used earlier to dig out the stumps

A different machine was used to trench than was used earlier to dig out the stumps

The deepest part was for the electrical conduit.

The deepest part was for the electrical conduit.

The utility conduit was buried and marked with tape.

The utility conduit was buried and marked with tape.

Then the cable and phone conduit went in.  They even saved our small pine tree.

Then the cable and phone conduit went in. They even saved our small pine tree.

Foundation trenches for the garage addition…

After the utility trench you got the impression that this was the easy part of the day.

Outline and center support for the new garage/workshop area.

Outline and center support for the new garage/workshop area.

Yes, all of this was done in one day with an expert contractor! Not to mention that other work was going on inside the house at the same time. But that is for another post!

Today is August 2, 2013.  I have a lot to catch up.  I hope to go thru the pictures and catch you all up to date soon.  It’s impossible to to day to day so I am grouping the major projects for now.

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