Well, they dug and they dug. Then after making a big ol' divot in the side our little hill, the contractors started pouring the footers and constructing the foundation/basement walls. This was exciting stuff because we could finally envision the footprint of the house--the layout of the rooms and the wonderful view we're going to have from both levels of the back porches. :)
Here's a shot of a finished footer:
The spring here in Ohio has been unseasonable warm and dry. Yes, we've had some rain here and there that slowed the process a bit occasionally, but there have been plenty of days between rain to dry things out and keep progress going. There was one thing, though, that couldn't keep going one day...
Although we bid out every part of the building process--excavation, concrete flat work, basement/foundation work, framing, roofing, utilities etc.), we chose just one contractor to do all of the main jobs for this first part of construction. His bids were reasonable, his reputation was solid, and our meetings went very well. While we could have saved some money by piecing out some parts of the initial construction (i.e. the concrete flat work or the roofing), we decided it was better to go with one contractor who we had great confidence in, and who we knew would stay focused on our job. In addition, all of the construction is guaranteed by just one contractor. If there is a problem, he will cover it and we don't have to worry that one contractor would place blame on another contractor, etc. An example: suppose a window isn't level so won't close properly. The framer could say that it was the Foundation that put the wall out of square. And the Foundation contractor could respond that no, it's definitely the framer's work that caused the problem.
By having one contractor do the initial excavation, foundation, concrete, framing and roofing, there is just one person to go to should there be any problems. That was comforting and made good sense to us.
While I'm all about saving money in the building of this house, that doesn't mean we'll give up quality, safety, or good warranty to do so. It's much more important to have a well-built, beautifully constructed house by a contractor we can depend on.
I've been busy building items for the house (lighting, plumbing features, accessories, etc) which I'll be sharing with you soon. But first, I need to catch you up on the building. More photos and info coming....stay tuned.