Friday, March 14, 2014

"To be, or not to be? the question."

Wha...?  I think what Bill Shakespeare meant was "To be retired, or not to be retired?  That is the question."  Lemme answer that:  Retirement is OK for a while, but occasionally it's nice to do something a little more challenging.

One of our previous customers, M/M "W", called on us to make another addition to the home we built for them just 2 years ago.  They're bringing in "mom", but I don't think they want her right on top of them, so they bought the lot next door and are building her her own quarters.


"Quarters"?  It's a good sized house all by itself.

It was about a month ago that we began construction, drilling 33 piers (steel reinforced concrete shafts that go down to bedrock) to support the foundation.

Then we put in all the PVC drain pipes and copper water lines, inspected it, and covered it with a moisture membrane.

After the foundation set-up was then inspected and approved by the design engineer we brought in the concrete pumper truck and things got interesting.

This is how the concrete comes out the other end of the hydraulic pump 60' away from the truck.

It's kinda cool to watch as it slowly oozes down into the deep beams, rather like molten lava flowing downhill. 

After the concrete had cured for a week and the cables had been tensioned (stretched), the carpenters began framing.  This is where we were as of yesterday.


It's funny how a home seems to grow larger in size as work progresses.  The slab frankly isn't very impressive, but when framing starts and you can get a sense of perspective, it blossoms.  From this angle it seems to stretch for a city block.  (That's the existing home we're tying in to.)

My job in all this?  I walk around with a clipboard and a set of blueprints under my arm.  Occasionally I unroll the plans (making sure I have them turned right-side-up....appearance is everything, you know) and look critically at something, then roll them back up.  

I also walk around, nod, smile, and say "Hola" a lot.  They call me "patron", which I think means "the one who brings the donuts".  

I think I have the work / retire ratio just about right.  When either starts getting a bit tedious I switch over to the other for a while.  Right now the work is good.  Maybe in a few weeks / months I'll retire again for a while.  One nice thing about learn to appreciate weekends again. 

Speaking of weekends, have a great one all you fellow working stiffs.  :)




  1. I heard on the news this morning that one in four renters are wanting to buy a home this year, so I guess this means it's time for another real estate bubble.

  2. Scott, you impress me. I should have gotten out of the Army and learned a good trade. Perhaps not.

    1. Pros and cons, Steve. Rarely does a construction worker get shot at. :)

  3. I'm glad I'm not wealthy enough to build something next door for good old mom. The stairs in our house are the only thing keeping her from moving in with us. Thank god for stairs.

  4. Speaking on behalf of the "full-time" retirees, I can tell you that it is also a challenge. It's a challenge to live as if it were a Saturday everyday. You've worked enough... time to give it a rest. Lotsa this country to see.

  5. It's only work if you hate doing it. You are lucky in that when you start to hate it you can quit it for a while (I'll bet that is not totally true.)

    I guessing your description of what you do on the job is not accurate...but it did crack me up.

    Hola "one who brings the donuts."

  6. And the best thing about this is you stay out of K's way!

  7. You are lucky you have a nice balance between work and retirement!

    I'm not sure if retirement is for me...after I was laid off 1 1/2 years ago and was out of work for 5 weeks, I went absolutely nuts. It wasn't the money thing...I just needed something to do, something to get up for and get out of the house.

    I do have to say - my eyes immediately went to the piers that you guys install before pouring the foundation. It's interesting to see how stuff is done in different parts of the country.

  8. don't do things half way, do you? That is an impressive mother-in-law cottage!

  9. Thanks for showing how it all is put together one part at a time. I like doing nothing all day and getting paid.

  10. Well great, now I want some donuts!

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