Field of Gravel

NOTE: As of September 23, 2009, this post has been edited in
accordance with a court-mediated settlement. The names of the
contractor and his excavation subcontractor have been replaced with

The Counterforce guys have started putting in the gravel for the drain field -- there has to be six inches of it, and they don't think there's enough gravel in the driveway to do it, but they got ahead of schedule and figured they might as well start. On Monday, the soils engineer will be out to inspect and sign off on the drain field construction.

it's so nice to see that pile of gravel go away!


Months ago we paid Contractor A (who were given to proffering bogus change orders in order to increase the price of the project) to rebuilt part of the side porch, because they were out of work to do and what the heck, we wanted to get it to drain right. For a short time the porch actually drained water away from the house instead of into it.

Then the house was shored up, and somebody made this huge mistake. Can you see it?

There's the shoring that sits on the Jenga blocks, which sit on the ground that has, in typical Alameda fashion, been settling with the dry season. The house has been moving unevenly because of that: doors sticking one day, popping open the next. This cross-brace is attached to a piece of wall that is not sinking as fast as the house in general, so it's now pushing up hard on the porch, tilting it back towards the house.

Bad shoring

We can only hope that when that bad cross-brace is removed, the porch goes back to the proper cant. As it is, we're going to have to pay a lot of money to fix the damage that was caused by Contractor A (who sabotaged the site by removing weather protection before he left) walking off the job and leaving us on temporary shoring for months longer than ever planned. We don't build houses with foundations like this because this is not a good, long-term way to support that much weight.

posted by ayse on 08/05/05