Backfilling Our Trench to San Jose Water Company’s Meter

We have way too many trenches open on our job site so ‘closing’ one is an accomplishment (and worthy of a celebration!).  At the same time, the components that must be completed for our roof are being addressed and we’re closer to being weathertight – so we can install the windows.

Reviewing a Prototype for Our Front Door

We decided to engage a local craftsman, Nathan Merrill of American Ordamental Ironworks on Dell Avenue, to design, build and install our front door assembly. 

The front door assembly consists of the steel frame that will hold the glass and door itself.  Bryan met with Nathan and discussed the design, including the use of Soss hinges.  Soss hinges are invisible from both sides of the door, enabling a clean, uncluttered look to the entrance.

Nathan was not familiar with Soss hinges and was eager to work on a project with simple, clean lines.  Most of Nathan’s projects are for Tuscan-style homes with elaborate custom steel doors and railing systems.

After getting a Soss hinge, Nathan assembled a small piece of a door frame, complete with a 1-3/4 inch working door attached to the Soss hinge.  Nathan came by the job site to show it to Bryan, and get his feedback.

The door assembly is way cool and will be spectacular.

Picking Up Sand from Granite Rock

Pacific Gas & Electric have very strict requirements for placing their natural gas with electric lines underground. 

First, the utility lines must be 39 inches below grade and separated in a common trench by at least 18 inches.  There must be 2 inches of sand at the bottom of the trench under the conduit for the electrical service. 

Second, PG&E must inspect the electrical conduit and trench prior scheduling and dispatching a two-person crew to install the natural gas line to the house. 

Finally, when the two-person crew arrives at the job site, there must be sufficient sand stockpiled and manpower available to cover the natural gas line and electrical conduit with 6 inches of sand.  This requirement is to ensure the natural gas line is not exposed to sunlight where the ultraviolet rays will damage the line and be a potential weakness for failure.

So, we need to have over two cubic yards of sand at our job site to meet the PG&E requirements.  Bryan went to Granite Rock’s location off Snell Road for the first load of sand with his pickup truck.

PG&Es requirements make our trenching process somewhat complex.

PG&E's requirements make our trenching process somewhat complex.

Receiving Approval on Our Water Service

Bryan requested an inspection of our connection to San Jose Water at 7:50 am this morning and our Building Official, Howard Bell, arrived this afternoon at 3:45 pm.  After some discussion, Howard approved the connection.  Immediately thereafter, Bryan went to the rental shop and picked up a ‘jumping jack’ (compactor).

Izzy agreed to stay an extra hour and work with Bryan to backfill and compact the trench from the San Jose Water meter to the underground cistern.  Although the trench was only 20 inches deep at the meter, it was almost 40 inches deep at the cistern.  Backfilling this trench would use up a significant amount of stockpiled dirt and provided some much-needed real estate.

While Bryan was getting the compactor, Izzy put a couple inches of sand in the trench, covering the water supply pipe.

Installing the Fascia

Meanwhile, the two-person team from Earth Bound Homes completed installing the 2x material on the gable ends and on the South and East sides of the house.  Having the fascia in place must be completed prior to putting in the tapered foam crickets.

Shop Drawings for the Tapered Foam Crickets

Leo sent the shop drawings for the tapered foam crickets today at 12:30 pm.  We have to sign off on the shop drawings before Johns Manville will ship the tapered foam crickets.  Unfortunately for us, Al Courteney couldn’t make the scheduled meeting with Bryan at the job site so they will meet at 9:00 am tomorrow morning.

Signing off on the shop drawings will trigger the manufacturing and shipping process to our job site.

Everything is coming together …

Rendering of our front door, which will be in a steel frame with frosted glass around it.

Rendering of our front door, which will be in a steel frame with frosted glass around it.

Nathan Merrill, from American Ordamental Iron on Dell Avenue, showing the prototype of the door with the Soss hinge.  Our door will have three stainless steel Soss hinges.

Nathan Merrill, from American Ordamental Iron on Dell Avenue, showing the prototype of the door with the Soss hinge. Our door will have three stainless steel Soss hinges.

Izzy unloads the sand, which will be used at the bottom of the trenches.

Izzy unloads the sand, which will be used at the bottom of the trenches.

PG&E trench, 39 inches deep, waiting for the electrical conduit and 2 inches of sand.

PG&E trench, 39 inches deep, waiting for the electrical conduit and 2 inches of sand.

Trench for six-inch overflow pipe from underground cistern to the back of the storm drain on Winchester Boulevard.

Trench for six-inch overflow pipe from underground cistern to the back of the storm drain on Winchester Boulevard.

Franciso carrying the ladder with Carlos on the roof.

Franciso carrying the ladder with Carlos on the roof.

Close up of the completed fascia at the front of the house.  This will get wrapped with natural zinc.

Close up of the completed fascia at the front of the house. This will get wrapped with natural zinc.

Backfilled water trench.  Completing this trench opened up some real estate for us at the front of the house.  Way cool ...

Backfilled water trench. Completing this trench opened up some real estate for us at the front of the house. Way cool ...

Remaining trench around underground cistern.

Remaining trench around underground cistern.

Backfilled and compacted trench to San Jose Water Companys meter at the street.  Yippee!

Backfilled and compacted trench to San Jose Water Company's meter at the street. Yippee!

End of the day photo - South and East fascia were completed today.

End of the day photo - South and East fascia were completed today.

 

End of the day photo - there is still a lot of dirt available for backfilling trenches.  Note the small pile of sand, which is covered with a tarp.

End of the day photo - there is still a lot of dirt available for backfilling trenches. Note the small pile of sand, which is covered with a tarp.

End of the day photo - trenches at the the South East corner of the house.  There is lots going on here.

End of the day photo - trenches at the the South East corner of the house. There is lots going on here.

End of the day photo - open trench at the front of the house.

End of the day photo - open trench at the front of the house.

End of the day photo - completed fascia looks good.

End of the day photo - completed fascia looks good.

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