I have been telling people that stop by during the construction process that I would have a website with information. I am certainly glad that so many people are not only receptive to the idea, but interested in it. I had to put the info in one place to answer the most common questions, give updates, and post advice based on what I learned. As much as I enjoy talking to people, having a constant stream of interruptions does not help the workflow, especially since this is not my business and I won’t be getting jobs as a result of it. Enjoy the information. I am not great about documenting with pictures because I get tied up with what is going on, but hopefully I can recount the process or information for those who want to read about it. I have posted the background, and an about section. Before contacting me, please read through the FAQ page, as most questions are answered there. Thanks. See below for the current stage of the house when I started writing and updating this.
If you read the background, you have seen the changes in the neighborhood and the small lot. This was always meant to be a townhouse style home due to the square footage available. Because almost everything being built in the area is a 3-4 story structure and because I want to capitalize on the downtown view too, I designed a 3 story home with a rooftop deck. I learned Sketchup in order to do this and the design evolved over the years. Knowing this software became an asset and I used it for many other things, long before I broke ground, but after I designed this house.
The image above is an older version, but still shows all of the relevant layout from the front.
Once plans were derived, the structural was completed by a structural engineer, and the plans were approved by the city; we began. The lot, which now has other townhomes surrounding it, was graded to a slight slope. I then marked where the piers would be drilled and poured.
Holes were drilled in the locations marked, helical piers were drilled, and forms were built around the caps.
Once the piers were in place, the concrete caps were poured, using steel plates with L bolts inserted into the concrete. The wood held the bolts in place until the concrete was dried enough to hold the steel top plates.
Once the forms were removed, the steel plates were attached and a gravel bed was installed. By the way, I would not recommend bolts to hold the steel plate in place. It makes container placement even more of a challenge. I have spoken with the engineer after placing the containers and I would not recommend using nuts for the bolts in the future. They get in the way during placement and there are other ways to attach the bolts to the bottom of the plates, so that the top is flat. Below are images of it being done this way on commercial projects.