With Measurements and Everything

I figure I have one more session of digging on the driveway side of the trench. Using the laser level and a measuring tape, I got about halfway done with this side in my last digging spurt of the day.

Driveway side, approaching done-ness

I even broke out the flat-blade shovel to make the sides nice and square (please do not rain before we get footings in place, weather).

Far-side trench is deeper

On the other side I'm still working on depth and width on a less precise scale. I did get the whole return after the bend dug down by about 12 inches, but since that is the highest part of the yard, I expect I still have a ways to go digging it down to be level with the front part. (No, I don't want to do a stepped footing.)

It still kind of looks the same

Today I employed the wheelbarrow to remove the soil, as the spoils piles had gotten too tall for me to keep throwing soil on top of them. I love how all the work I did is out of sight. I've been taking another set of reference photos from the front porch every day, and those have been even less interesting since the big dirt piles appeared.

Number of people who remarked on the difficulty of my work: 2
Number of people who said "way to go!": 1
Number of neighbors who beeped while driving by: 2 (is this a new trend?)
Guesses about what I am making: a moat

Kind of light traffic on the sidewalk today, or else I timed my work sessions perfectly.

I'm trying to decide if I should arrange gravel delivery for Monday. It means I have to get a lot of work done tomorrow (Saturday, it turns out, is going to be a wash for house work). I'm leaning towards no, because I'm going to be away half of next week at a very geeky conference, and if it rains I'd rather just clean up a plain dirt trench than one with gravel in it already. Also, today we decided to buy a laser chalk line tool -- an upgrade to the little laser level kit Noel's parents gave us a few years ago -- and it should be here early next week. I probably won't get to use it before I have to leave, but it will be very useful for leveling the gravel in the base.

Everything moves pretty fast once the trench is dug: gravel in and leveled, footing formwork and steel, then the first pour. Now I'm reading about building formwork.

posted by ayse on 02/10/11