Backfilling against the retaining wall is now pretty much complete. Here are a couple of shots, one facing southwest, the other facing southeast, of the complete retaining wall:
Today we hauled off a couple of truckloads of dirt, and the lot is beginning to take shape. This picture shows the general level of the upper part of the house, sort of under the arm of the earth mover:
The excavation for the house and the front walkway has begun. The first picture shows the far northwest corner of the lot, where there will be a short retaining wall (the far left cut), and the NW corner of the house (the cut on the right):
We also made cuts today for the sub-basement in the east half of the house that will be slab over foundation, which you can see in the picture below. The cut on the right is for the retaining wall at the western edge of the front walkway, an elliptical ramp that will climb from the driveway to the front door at about a 1:8 grade.
After the concrete retaining wall is built, we'll turn the face of it into something called a "battered wall," which is one of the oldest methods of building a wall. Here is a beautiful example of a Scottish battered wall dated to around 870 AD by coins excavated from the site:
Here's a longer view of the excavation:
And, finally, we've actually now got a little "house" on the site: Mark's construction shed. He was framing for a west window today. Eventually we'll move our weekly project meetings to the Shed and be able to enjoy that view.
A lot of interesting things start to happen next week. Stich will finish the excavation for the garage and driveway. We'll be laying out the slab for the western half of the house and testing concrete colors. Hopefully we'll get power and Internet next week as well.
Our finish date has now slipped 14 days. I'll track the progress date here as well: 4/15/2015