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A Foundation For The Dream

Building Winters Hope Pt 2

When last we met our intrepid, and very naïve, house builders, Chris and Susan had gotten the plans for their home revised and sent off to the county permitting office for final approval. This was in the spring of 2020. And then..


Everything shut down and the hopes of getting the house built this summer were dashed. All government offices were shut down and building inspectors were not inspecting work. After a period of time, they opened up inspections for houses already under construction, however we did not fall into that category.

And then Susan needed spinal fusion surgery.

The idea of getting the foundation and framing completed before the rains come was no longer feasible. Chris, his brother, Steve, and Nephew Calvin were able to get the foundation completed while Susan waited at home to find out when her surgery would occur. Fortunately, Steve is very good about taking pictures of the process so most of these pictures are credited to him.

Next came the French drain that surrounds the house as the antithesis of a moat. Chris completed this while Susan was recuperating. This will protect the foundation from any standing water, I suppose. The soil here is quite good at draining and this will help ensure the rainwater drains away from the house and also away from the river. Chris excavated the entire area around the foundation, painted an impermeable barrier onto the foundation walls, laid a special permeable cloth in the trough dug, bought special rock to fill it, then covered it all like a permeable burrito.

The Anti-Moat

You can see the ramp into the foundation has been improved for safety. Though the other one was quite interesting, the spikes were better suited for discouraging entry.

This was all that could be accomplished the during the summer of 2020. The foundation was inspected in person after the government offices opened up part-time; the county just required photos and rock receipt (showing we paid for the high-dollar washed rock and not the cheap dirty rock) to approve the drain. Then the rains came and we were not going to attempt to frame the house during the rainy time.

Chris also installed the dry well which is where the water that comes off the gutters will flow. This hole is four feet deep, seven feet by thirteen feet, and is a similar “burrito” design with specialty fabric (not just any old landscape fabric but an extra thick and sturdy type) and clean rock. This is required to make sure our rain gutters don’t pollute the river.

All of this was accomplished by a couple of guys in the summer of Covid. Pretty amazing start, don’t you think?



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I am an artist and entrepreneur. Here I hope to encourage you to find joy and contentment in the miracle that is every moment of life.