Archive for Excavation

Custom Home Construction (First Floor Walls and Backfill)

It was another busy week atExterior Walls the site of our new home construction.  This time of year gives us some warm and some cold days.  We’re making the most of the great weather and our guys are working hard to get it under roof before the first snow.

After the basement walls were finished, the next phase was the first floor exterior walls.  The wall panels were secured into the place so they are ready for roof trusses to arrive next.  The walls were pre-engineered and built with 2×6 boards and 7/16 OSB (oriented strand board).

OSB is an engineered wood particle board formed by layering strands (flakes) of wood in specific orientations.  It has a rough, variegated surface with the individual strips lying unevenly across each other.  The high mechanical properties make OSB suitable for load-bearing applications in construction.  Common uses are as sheathing in walls, flooring and roof decking.

In addition to the first floor walls, the excavator returned to back-fill 100_0169the exterior of the house.  In order to provide full support and drainage for the foundation walls, the guys firmly pack 2B shale around the perimeter of the foundation.

Usually, the backfilling is a combination of stone, soil and other materials that were left over after the main excavation was completed.  However, additional backfill may be transported to the building site if necessary.  In our case, the excavator hauled in 375 tons of dirt and stone and 75 tons of 2B shale, all of which was used as backfill and ensuring the proper slope of the property and driveway.

Be sure to stay tuned for our next blog post.  A lot of work is being done and we’ll keep you updated.  Coming up next…garage walls and roof trusses.

Custom Home Construction (Foundation Walls)

100_0119We’re happy to say the weather has held up pretty well and the excavation went as planned.  Over the weekend the plumbing rough-in was completed and we are ready for foundation walls.

Tuesday morning was the day the foundation walls are delivered and put in place.  Wilkins Contracting used Superior Walls by Advanced Concrete for this project.  Their system is a process that begins with your custom design and ends with your pre-insulated basement.

Superior Walls by Advanced Concrete Systems are insulated precast concrete wall systems that are custom manufactured to each building’s specifications and have a minimum 5000+psi.  The product forms a concrete cavity wall panel with concrete studs reinforced with rebar and polypropylene fibers providing additional structural strength.  These walls are water-proof and energy efficient providing a built-in insulation with an R value of 21.  They include access holes that are built-in for wiring and can for plumbing as well so no additional framing is needed.

The walls are custom designed to virtually any architectural style to include window and door openings, beam pockets and brick ledges and are available in 4’, 8’2” and 10’ heights.  They are manufactured in a climate-controlled facility and delivered directly to the job site.  With the use of a crane and certified crews, the walls are installed in less than a day.

Now that the walls are in place, the basement floor will be poured and basement interior support walls will be built.

You can see a photo gallery of this and other projects by clicking here.

Custom Home Construction (Excavation)

100_0071It’s an exciting week for Wilkins Contracting.  We’re digging in the dirt!  Our excavator has his equipment on the property and has started clearing the ground for the new custom home we’re preparing to build.

Prior to excavation, the builders take the plans, a laser transit and measuring tapes to stake out the ground.  This is done to show the exact locations of where the house will be built.  It will mark specific areas of the building, like where the garage attaches to the house, and any other details that designate areas for walls, plumbing, etc., and also the driveway or other roads around the house.

Last week, our excavator went to the site to dig test holes on the area that needs to be cleared.  This gives him an idea of what is underground and what obstacles he may run into while digging.  The land clearing equipment depends on the specific piece of ground they need to clear.  If there are trees, they need to be removed.  Depending on what’s under the ground’s surface (i.e., slate or large stones) will also determine what specific equipment is needed to clear the ground for building.

The excavator also pays close attention to how deep he is digging.  They have to be careful not to go too deep…but they also have to be sure to dig deep enough.  The laser transit is used to determine the correct depth.

After the bulk of the ground is cleared, the excavator will lay piping for french drains.  Pea gravel is then spread throughout as substrate for the concrete.

Now we’re ready for walls to be delivered and the floor to be poured and we will talk about that in our next blog post.