Lakeville Maine or Up North in a Clay hole

Well, not all design build work is interesting and joyful. Emily and I just spent a week up in Lakeville Maine rebuilding the foundation under her camp. Several things to note about this experience are:  Mainers up there are big. Everyone is big and they drive big trucks. I would say that going on a diet in these parts is eating one rather than two big macs. The folks are friendly, but if you don’t go muddin’ with a atv on the weekends, you might come up short on things to talk about with these folks…oh wait…the rain this summer and the prolonged mosquitoes were a few conversations I did manage with a local or two.
So, Emily and I spent the week jacking up the building, having the excavator dig us some new 5′ deep footing tube holes, and mixing our own concrete. Emily got to go to Lincoln Maine Rental and rent the mixer and a sump pump. She found it very interesting. I guess they even sell dynamite there. I got to muck around in the holes and have dirt collapse on me while pick axing clay; it was great fun.
On occasion I would see that the wind was blowing across the lake and would have to give the windsurfer some crash action….
Then back to messing with the heaved up building. One thing is if you live in northern Maine, don’t think that you can dig your foundation with a shovel….the rocks are too big, the clay to thick, and the frost line too deep. This is what the original builder had done; he cheaped out and didn’t spent the money on a proper excavation job. In the end, he had sono (“sonah” as they say in Maine) tubes that were only 18″ to 2′ deep, some sitting on the boulder that the shovel found in the way. In the end, the boulders heave up in the winter, wrack the building, break windows, and make a mess for unlucky builders like myself and Emily.
In the end: job completed, new foundation that wont sag or heave, some new pain and stain, a gutter, some new drainage….and an aching back, a bunch of welts from September mosquitoes?! But, on our last day we were rewarded to one of Mainers’ favorite pastimes: drinking cheap beer starting at 9 am. and burning old brush piles with the very few neighbors that there are there….yippy….then we got to get the hell out of there. Back to the ‘civilized’ world of Camden, Maine….its “so perfect here” said Emily with her nose in the air.

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