Bill’s birthday! A bit of a birthday present! The first wall is up, the pool re-excavation is done and the under pool drainage has just been started with the placement of clean, washed gravel in the bottom of the excavation.

The very first wall section is up! This is the lower level south guest bedroom’s south wall, with the big sliding door to the lower deck. Once again, it’s hard to get a feel for things from the plans. That wall is 11’ tall, which means the lower floor ceilings will be 10’ high!

There’s the clean, washed gravel in the pool bottom. Things don’t always go right - the red rectangle marks where the fill collapsed back to bedrock, leaving part of the footer that holds the stairs unsupported. Once again, the structural engineer had to be consulted about the fix, which will be to form up and let the pool people shoot extra gunite under it to let it bear on the bedrock under the pool.

A bit more of the structural fill collapsed on the left side, but this isn’t a problem since the wall it’s next to is completely on bedrock.

Here’s what did the final detailed excavation of the pool, a Caterpillar 252B skid steer loader.. These are interesting machines in that the wheels don’t steer, they’re fixed. It steers by stopping or even reversing the wheels, which lets it spin in a circle. Although it looks small, this is no lightweight - it weighs about 7,800 pounds.

The framers are fanatic about getting everything dead on! The red lines are the chalk lines they use to guide where they’ll put some interior wall sill plates.

Here’s the laser level they used when shimming the sill plates to be absolutely level. You can also see the control joint cuts in the garage slab clearly here.

The Grotto with the protective plastic removed from the piece of bedrock (which still needs a name!) The floor was poured during cold weather, so the blankets were needed to keep it from freezing.