Latest Blogs

Concrete Walls and Columns – October 18, 2022

The next step was the perimeter walls and the free standing columns. As we were preparing for the construction of the perimeter walls, I had ideas for making some changes in the field. Due to the City of Marathon’s illegal granting of building rights to the biggest developer in Marathon the state of Florida has stepped in to “review and comment” on all construction permits and changes to existing permits. All of the drawings were done months ago but trying…
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Walls, Finally! – October 12, 2022

Well, everyone is probably bored about foundations! The next step was the perimeter walls and the free standing columns. As we were preparing for the construction of the perimeter walls, I had ideas for making some changes in the field. Due to the City of Marathon’s illegal granting of building rights to the biggest developer in Marathon the state of Florida has stepped in to “review and comment” on all construction permits and changes to existing permits. All of the…
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Concrete Foundations, part 3 – October 1, 2022

Well, everyone is probably bored about foundations! But one more post on the topic! The contractor did frame and add the rebar to the foundations. There were specifications on how it was to be done. But, it’s the Keys and it seems written specs don’t count, even to the designer! I was out on the site and realized that the contractor was using gravel too big for the specifications. The rebar was resting on the soil. The rebar was also…
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Foundations, the other method – August 4, 2022

Considering that we made the decision early on to have a concrete house we have to take into account the extra weight of the whole structure. The “soil” (sandy marine clay and rock fragment) we are building on is probably fill the developer threw on top of a marsh to create “dry” land and from the surrounding canals. The method used on our site was to the drill the hole, fill with concrete and drop in a rebar cage to…
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Trouble in Paradise? – August 4, 2022

What happens when the construction installation is not per the drawings? What happens when the construction installation is not per the drawings and no one seems to care? What happens when the construction installation is not per the drawings and no one seems to care except the owner? This week has been stressful. There are requirements in the drawings for: Imported base rock to be compacted to 2,000 LBS per square foot. Rebar to be supported with rebar chairs so…
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Foundation Work Continues – July 20, 2022

Yesterday there were 6 laborers working on the project! An all time high! Men were working on stripping forms, readying them for more concrete work. Other workers were readying the foundation rebar for the future horizontal foundation connectors. Debris was removed from the site. A Bobcat was used to spread baserock around the vertical rebar foundation. Next is to ready the site to receive the concrete forms for the concrete foundation pour. That concrete will enclose the foundation of the…
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Foundation Work Continues – July 13, 2022

Construction work in the Florida Keys is a stop and go proposition these days. Sometimes work gets done and sometimes nothing gets done for weeks at a time. Currently there seems to be more stop than go for my project. After a full day of getting the foundation rebar placed as per the designer’s plans, the work stopped. As a surprise, during this visit to the job site there as actual signs that progress was about to start up again!…
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Foundation Work Update – June 15, 2022

The first physical part of the work is now done! Hurrah! After 18 years after purchasing the lot, and 4 years after starting the design build process, we have something real in the ground! The first step is to have a surveyor determine the exact location where the house is to be located on the lot, as approved by the City of Marathon. The surveyor marked the property lines, the setback of the house on the lot,  and pier locations.…
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Now…. where were we? – Update June 1, 2022

A few years ago I started to comment on my efforts to build a retirement home in the Florida Keys. After four years of: an architect who died, another that stole money and more importantly time, design cost over-runs, a new designer, new contractor bids, delays due to Covid, cost inflation, the loan process, etc, we have finally started construction! I am here in Marathon for the duration to review construction, solve problems in real time and make sure I…
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