I drove up to the building site this past weekend to install the sill plates. My excavator was working back filling the foundation. He needed extra soil to build up the ground around the foundation, so he moved dirt from the gently sloping hillside behind the house. This gives me a relatively flat backyard and will improve water runoff in the spring.
This is a view behind the foundation, looking southeast. My garden will be close to the house, where it will get the most sunlight.
While my excavator was there, I asked if he could dig a couple of test holes to look for water. The first 2 holes hit ledge about 2 feet down. The third hole, he was able to get about 10 feet down. The ground was moist and water was slowly seeping out of the ledge.
My excavator put a bed of gravel in the hole, followed by a well tile and then surrounded it with gravel. 16 hours later there was 6 inches of water in the well tile. We will have to see how this turns out, but I was happy to get some water. There is a lot of runoff here in the spring, so I will have plenty of water then. I planned to put in a 300 gallon water storage tank all along, so finding water is just an extra blessing.
I finished up the sills on Saturday afternoon.
As an experiment, I built some Jefferson alternating tread stairs. I lowered them into the foundation and tried them out. They work fine. I just have to remember I am on stairs and not a ladder.
I hope to get back in a couple of weeks to frame the floor.