Excavation of the Footings

A Crucial Part of the Process for building a sustainable home

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A tiny footprint, a light hand on the land and something simple enough for laymen to achieve; the footings on any building are critical to get right.


The excavation of the holes for the Big Foots and Sonotube footings is a stage where the ground cannot be disturbed; one of the criteria for the building is that the soil must be either in a virgin state, or has to be compacted. 

To avoid having to take one more step to get where we want, we decided that we had to dig each hole individually.

The mini excavator is the perfect tool;

Mini excavator - it's 10' between the sonotubes

Choosing the right tool for the job makes it all go so much easier; the right operator doesn't hurt either. 

It's not essential for the operator of the machine to have the ability to pick up a single pebble with the thumb on the bucket, but it really helps.

Gentlemen; start the Excavation!

It just looks like a muddy mess right now...

Of course, it would start to rain when the excavating was started...that's fairly typical for September, especially when digging.

The most uncomfortable stage of the whole building process...

Mountains of mud and carefully piled gravel...although it looks chaotic, it was curated into piles of usable gravel, good clean fill, and plain soil for backfilling the holes excavated for the Big Foots.

It looks like a minefield...

Turn into a carefully orchestrated series of holes, complete with string lines - this is important.  If the base layer is not accurate, then it gets more and more out of whack the higher the building goes.

The next phase is the footings...

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