Step-by-Step: infill and backfill

Most of the flooring will be slab-on-grade, and the slab needs to sit on a bed of compacted material with good drainage. The soil we dug out of the hole was not well suited to that job, and we needed it to build up the grade around the outside of the house. So yesterday, a few dozen truckloads of fill arrived…

There's something about watching the big machines that I still find exciting, even though I'm a "grown up"!

There’s something about watching the big machines that I still find exciting, even though I’m a “grown up”!

Remember that giant hole?....

Remember that giant hole?….

...well, here it is now. All filled up!

…well, here it is now. All filled up!

Just about done with the infill. That yellow machine is a compactor. It vibrates to tamp down the earth so it won't settle under the slab and cause cracking, and to provide a nice level surface onto which the slab will sit.

Just about done with the infill. That yellow machine is a compactor. It vibrates to tamp down the earth so it won’t settle under the slab and cause cracking, and to provide a nice level surface onto which the slab will sit.

Once the inside was filled up, the excavator did the backfilling: putting the excavated soil back up against the outside of the foundation walls.

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

The house looked a LOT smaller after the backfilling was done. The contractors warned me ahead of time that the house might seem pretty small after that step. Thankfully, I was already prepared for that shock. Back when I was working on the design, I went up to the site and laid out stakes and flagging tape to mark the walls. I remember freaking out and thinking I’d somehow made a mistake: surely those rooms were way too small?! But it was an illusion. When I measured real rooms in real homes I found that with walls and a ceiling and furnishings, the exact same dimensions look much bigger.

Plus it’s very exciting to be able to walk around inside and out now!

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Categories: New House Build, Step by Step series | Leave a comment

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