Thursday, April 28, 2011


Yesterday we finally broke ground. A bit later than I thought it would, but there was much to take care of. So, referring back to the list from my previous entry, I can check off several items.

  • The silt barrier is up
  •  Bids for the retaining walls went out, came back, and were revised again to factor in the foundation changes. The changes turn out to be a bit more expensive than I thought. We'll be going over-budget on the foundation. I should be able to absorb the extra expense. 
  • Based on the bids we received, we signed a contract with an excavator to do the foundation and retaining walls 
  • The property was staked out by a surveyor
  • Water, gas, and electrical applications were submitted and are in various states of being processed
For the observant types, you may have noticed I didn't mention the sewer. That deserves its own blog entry. Here's what it looks like as of this morning:

With that large bush out of the way, it's the first time I can see the whole lot. Looking good! Also, here's what the driveway looks like:

The grass and debris is all scraped away from my side of the property. 

The first big task is to form the driveway. It has to slope downward into the main part of the lot. I think this is what the excavator will be doing over the next week or so. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Pre-Groundbreaking tasks

There are several things that need to happen before we can break ground.
  • A silt barrier has been erected around the perimeter of the lot
  • An onsite kick-off meeting was arranged with the city to inspect the barrier, provide information about the construction policies and procedures that the city requires, and to give permission to break ground. This was a success. 
  • Several requests for bids were sent out for the retaining wall and foundation work. This is probably the most expensive and involved part of the project, so it is important to spend some time making sure we have the right person and for the right price
  • A surveyor was hired to come out to the lot and put stakes in all the corners so that we know exactly where the property lines and easements are. 
  • An application to Seattle City Light needs to be sent out to get temp (and eventually permanent) electrical service to the lot. 
  • A request for water service was sent to Seattle Public Utilities. I had to go to their offices in person to get it set up. They need to renew the water availability certificate on the lot before they can put an order in. This will hopefully be ready on Monday. 
  • A request for gas service needs to go out to Puget Sound Energy
  • A plan for sewer access needs to be established. I can potentially save a ton of cash by hooking into the neighbor's sewer line, but I need a signed side-sewer access easement from them. I'll be talking with them on Tuesday about that.
All those tasks don't necessarily need to be completed before we begin on the retaining wall, but we do need to decide on a subcontractor and figure out where the sewer will go. I'm hoping one more week and we can start digging. I want to see piles of dirt!