Concrete #LittleK

Underpinning is complete at #2308 #LittleK. Pictures below show concrete being poured for the narrow side addition as well as the “rat slab.” Rat slab you say, eh?

New terminology for me, this slab — located in the crawl space at the soon-to-be back addition (aka future storage space in #2308’s case)  — is actually a barrier meant to prevent burrowing animals from getting beneath your deck or patio. Despite its name, it is not solely geared towards rodents.  This slab, per my research, will prevent the entry of raccoons, opossums, groundhogs, mice, skunks, and anything else that burrows. That’s the goal, anyway!

Bonus feature at #LittleK: the back slab has foam insulation below. No need for a vapor barrier!

Next up, framing!



Laying a Foundation #LittleK

#2308 had its second round of inspections Tuesday (building inspection code 130 for anyone wondering). We passed! This time around, the DCRA inspector focused on the additions’ foundation; the first inspection evaluated foundation footings. Confused as to what is what?! I was, too. I continue to learn the terms, the processes, and the steps involved in building new construction, even if attached to an existing structure. What I’ve learned so far is outlined below, in pictures.

The first four pictures show footing construction, with vertical rebar being installed. Rebar, I’ve learned, needs to be grouted solid to become integral to the wall.


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The next set of pictures show the start of waterproofing. The black, tar-like material is used to prevent dampness. A drainage board (last picture) is also being installed to provide adequate waterproofing.

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More to come!

Excavation #LittleK

In thinking about excavation as it applies to home construction, I did a little bit of digging myself (research-wise only, no manual labor here just yet). Excavation in and of itself is the process of removing earth to form a cavity in the ground. There’s topsoil excavation, rock excavation, muck excavation, and even ‘unclassified’ excavation.

In the case of #2308, excavation work will allow for building a back addition foundation and a side addition that will be of legal basement height. The latter will allow placement of the home’s mechanical systems while the former will one day boast #2308’s dining / den area on the first floor and master suite on the second. The original basement, for anyone wondering, will function as a bonus storage space. The ceiling height as it is now would otherwise prove too low to allow for a legal, habitable space.

p.s. Fun fact, while the Roman engineer Vitruvius gave descriptions of heavy equipment in Ancient Rome, until the 20th century (more or less), hand tools were the primary earthmoving ‘machine’!

Enough writing. Here are today’s excavation shots!

Phase I Begins | #2308

Also dubbed #LittleK, this week marks Week 1 of #2308 lovin’ in the form of construction. Phase I will involve the following: excavation, foundation, masonry, underpinning, and waterproofing. The focus this week has been the excavation work needed to build the foundation for the property’s rear addition.


And, in the week prior, #2308 had some leaning trees removed. Power lines, severe wind, and overgrown branches do not mix.


Now, if only my professionally-landscaped yard with its brown grass looked as good as these weeds, trimmed. 🙂


p.s. For those still reading, Miss Utility is a thing. 811 as 311. Call before you dig!

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