Another week has flown by in the blink of an eye here in Alaska. We finally rode out the record setting temperatures which ended on Wednesday. It's such a relief in so many ways to have cloudy days and temps down into the low 70s and 60s.
During the heat wave, we grilled outside and ate our dinner in the breezy shade of the garage structure. It was too hot to cook or eat in the RV, unless you stuck your head in the refrigerator! We ran the A/C in the RV sparingly because it drank our generator fuel quickly. One sunny evening we took the dogs to the neighbors dock to let them swim in the cool lake while we soaked our feet off the end of the dock. To beat the heat, I also took the dogs to a nearby lake to check out the public access area at Knik Lake. Both the dogs and I enjoyed the breezy shade and chilly water. With the cooler temperatures back to normal, I was able to fire up the oven in the RV and make my first batch of cookies. I am not sure if the double chocolate cookies will last too long around here!
During the hot days we made more headway on designing our new home. We are trying to get all the details worked out before beginning construction because going back and changing something such as the foundation would be costly. Our foundation will be what is called a frost-protected shallow foundation with in floor heat. This is basically a concrete slab with a thickened perimeter which is done in a single concrete pour. There will be insulation under the concrete and extending out around the perimeter in order to keep the ground beneath from freezing and heaving. Based on months of research, we decided this is our best option to battle earthquakes and frost. It will keep us warm in the winter, be efficient, and be a relatively basic install. We met with a concrete supplier to confirm plans, the supplies required and get referrals for companies to help with pouring the concrete.
On Wednesday afternoon, Pete rented a skid steer and large compactor to begin foundation work. Using the skid steer, he dug out the topsoil and all organic matter such as tree roots which would decay over time and create soft spots. He created a rectangular pit which would be filled back in with well-draining rocky material. For the fill, we used what is called pit run, which is just un-screened material from the gravel pit made of sand and stones of all sizes. The pit he dug was about 54' x 36' x 4' deep. Then he arranged for 30 loads of pit run to be delivered on Thursday and Friday. As the dump trucks delivered each load, Pete used the skid steer to spread the fill in the pit. Every 6''-12'' he would hop in the compactor and compact it all into a relatively flat surface. This type of sandy material only requires compaction about every 12'' for a ready-to-build-on foundation, but Pete used the extra minutes in between dump truck deliveries to compact some more. Our foundation is very rigid! On Friday night we staked out the corners of the house. It was a good feeling!
Our submersible well pump came in the mail today. We plan to install it ourselves, so we will shift our focus to that project at the beginning of next week after we acquire the additional supplies for installation such as piping, electrical cable, and fittings. The pipe we will be putting down the well comes in 20' sections and neither of us are more than 6' tall, so it will be interesting to see how it goes. The idea is that we will attach the pump to the end of a section of pipe and lower it into the well, then attach another section and lower it down further and repeat until the pump is nearly 100' down. Sounds easy enough. We also plan to make our first trip to the big city of Anchorage tomorrow. We are surprised that we haven't had to go there yet for a supply run. Our town of Wasilla has had most of our necessities so far, which is very convenient.
Hello, I am Melissa, owner of Wild North Design. Recently, my husband and I decided to pick up and move to Alaska. This dream has been a couple years in the making and we are enjoying the journey so far. We love to learn and make all kinds of things. From wood craft, to painting, to vehicles, landscaping, building, exploring...we love it all! We are finding out that Alaska is a great fit for our restless minds and bodies! Excited for what the future holds for our expanding family!
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