>On Feb. 21st the earth we hit could not be excavated with just a track hoe. We brought in a 2nd track hoe with a rock crushing hammer attachment. Hitting this hard pan of rock severely hampered our progress. Earth that was moved now had to first be broken up by the rock hammer, and then scooped out.
>In early March we had been working 6 days a week to complete the excavation and prepare for footings to be placed. It snowed numerous days which did not allow us to haul material to the dump site, but we kept chipping and digging. As of March 11th we had 466.5 hours of track hoe work and 550 hours of dump truck time moving the top of the mountain down the steep grade to the dump site on the east side of highway 40. One thing we can be sure of is the fact that the Dream Home will be sitting on a firm foundation.
>The big snow storm we had March 15th caused the trucking to stop but the men working the track hoes toughed it out. They really understand the importance of getting this hole finished and have worked overtime and weekends for us. >As of March 16th we were very close to finishing the excavation. We believed we were through the hardest section of the excavation and ready to begin the footings process by Thursday the 23rd. We had hoped to be further along, but unfortunately the rock changed from being fractured strata to a "hard pan" that required a bit more effort to break out.
>March 20th: Snow accumulated over weekend, Snowed during the day. Track hoes worked, could not transport material down the mountain.
>Tuesday 21st: Heavy Snow and Wind. Track hoes worked. Dump trucks could not.
>Wednesday 22nd: Clear Weather, Track hoes worked hauled material.
>Thursday 23rd: Clear Weather. Warmer temps have caused the snow to melt which is making the banks to slough a bit.
>Friday 24th: Clear, Finishing the grade along the final east wall. Finishing fine grading the hole in preparation for the footings.
>Saturday 25th: Good weather. Finally complete with excavation!! Rocks from above have fallen into the hole do to the melting snow and unstable ground above.
>Monday 27th: Fair weather. Moved snow tarps and debris that has fallen into the excavation. Moved small track hoe on to project to get on the banks above and move the boulders back to create a safe working environment for the footing guys.
>Tuesday 28th: Good Weather. Finished stabilizing the banks, Surveyors placed the wall corners.
>Wednesday 29th: Snow. Footing contractor started layout. Forms delivered to site. Tarped site because of snow.
>Thursday 30th: Clear. Crane on site to move out snow tarps. Shoved out last night's snow. Began forming footings.
>Friday 31st: Clear. Placing forms. Installing rebar.
>April 1st, Saturday: Windy. Forming and installing rebar. Things are progressing well. [pagebreak]—A look at the construction timeline:
>The first step after the footings are in place is to pour the walls, which is a three-week process.
>Next, plumbing is installed and the radiant heat tubes are put in place.
>Electrical conduits (outlets) are then installed.
>Finally, the framework for the house begins to go up!
>We have 8 designers undertaking this project. We have divided the various areas of the home so that each designer will have the ability to be extremely creative within our overall design guidelines. There are areas where the designer needs to be resourceful and cull from her knowledge while being practical. We have spec'd all of the plumbing, tile, granite and marble. Our next step is to have wood flooring samples made in order to narrow down our choices for the main floor area.
>The idea book grows everyday with everyone's input. It is the design vision of Casa Bella to relate all aspects of the interior finishes so that the lighting relates to the flooring which relates to the wall finishes, rock, etc, etc. The ultimate end iis to create the "dream home" of everyone's fantasy.
>More and more companies are showing interest in sponsorship of the home. We are currently meeting with potential sponsors for cabinetry, lighting and control and home theaters.