Drain Re-Run and “Footers”

With the advice of a few people, I’ve made some changes to the previous drain-pipe situation. Apparently, scheduled 35 drain pipe is not sturdy enough to run under concrete. I was unaware of this and set out to redo it. I purchased scheduled 40 pipe with a different basement floor drain that will work better in the end anyway. Once out of the basement area, the scheduled 40 reduces back down to the scheduled 35. The new pipe even runs out under the threshold of the doorway so as to ensure that the walls will not add to much weight to the drain pipe. I also added a drain on the exterior where the landing will be in front of the basement door.

So here’s the big change I was talking about last blog: the tiny home is now going to be a tiny bit bigger. AND the basement will not be fabricated out of field stone… Yea, I know, what the heck, right? Well, with winter approaching quickly, something needed to speed up this process a bit. For a basement height stone wall, I was probably in over my head. Not the first time I’ve ever said that by a long shot.

However, this will be a unique basement. I plan to use very large concrete blocks used for large scale retaining walls. When I say very large, I mean it. These are 6′ foot long, 2′ thick and 2′ feet tall blocks that weigh in around 3600 pounds a piece. There is a loop of rebar in the top that allows the blocks to be moved around with machinery.

At least I can say that the hefty timber frame will be accompanied by a hefty foundation. These blocks also come in 5′ long corner blocks and 3′ half blocks. Since I wanted to have a doorway in our basement, the previous dimensions of 12′ x 16′ were not going to work. After playing tetris for 3 days and racking my brain over it, I concluded that because the gable wall was so short, I was having problems getting the blocks to fit accordingly, stagger my joints for the next course, and avoid cutting these behemoths in the end.

Long story short, the dimensions are now 16′ x 20′. Luckily, we had to hole dug out well oversize just in case. This unfortunately means that I have to recut some timbers, but it’ll get done.

These blocks require “footers” just like any other foundation, but since they are so large, they don’t require the typical footers that would accompany a home. These blocks are placed on crusher run stone that has been tamped. Crusher run is just a different type of gravel that includes dust, smaller rocks, and the occasional average size rock. The combination of these materials when wet and tamped creates a slab similar to concrete but with a fraction of the cost.

So today, I set out with a laser level and an automatic tamper and created the “footer” for my blocks.

That tamper is a beast. I was able to borrow it, along with the laser level from a friend.

To my knowledge, I’m the first person to attempt to make a basement out of these things, but that’s ok. Maybe I’ll start a trend… probably not.

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