Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday: sunburns and a good foundation

It was a beautiful sunny day to start building our yurt, and Kathy was kind enough to put out our laundry while we got started.
Our first task: scything the spot our yurt will sit. We even cut a path for ourselves through the meadow!
Jon got the tractor up and running, and we loaded up the beams that will make the skeleton of our platform.I thought it would be a bigger puzzle to fit them all back together again, but thankfully Jon had numbered them all, so it wasn't so hard. We centered the beams around the area we hoped the house would be, and oriented it so that our door faces Southwest (because that was the best compromise between orienting it South-facing for best solar gain and fitting with the lay of the land).
Our friend John Bolton (around here he's just known as "Bolton") is a champ, and came to put in a long day of helping us. Here he and Jon are screwing our frame together. We needed to do this in order to determine exactly where our concrete piers should sit.We then unscrewed the whole frame and got to digging... there are 20 piers under the yurt in all, aligned with the beams of the platform. We knew that we needed to dig a hole around each pier that was at least 3- to 4-feet deep (below the frost line) or down to clay, whichever came first. Thankfully there was a lot of clay only a few feet below the surface!
It took a lot of elbow grease to get it done; Dick's old post hole digger came in SO handy...
After our holes were dug, we filled them with crushed rock in order to prevent future frost heaves from pushing up on the posts of our yurt. This should help us to ensure that our yurt stays level long into the future!
It took all day to get to this spot, but we now have half of our holes dug and filled, which isn't bad. Only 10 to go...

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