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Sinking sonotubes

28 October 2009 | Category: Building | Author: Clare

The problem with building mostly by yourself is that the responsibility for any errors or miscalculations ultimately rests in one place! The excavations for the sonotubes were large and the backfill process was done quickly to accommodate an impending cement delivery.

Two of the nine supports for the cabin sank after a day of torrential rain, one by nearly 3", the other by perhaps 2"; I found them that way early one morning.

At the time they were backfilled, I seemed to take as much care as could reasonably be expected, but I believe the `sink holes` that have arisen around a number of the foundation piers are a direct result of my own lack of diligence.

For the first time since starting the project, I questioned my ability to complete it.

In the begining, believing vehemently that we can do anything we set our minds to I ignored the startled looks from the contractor`s desk, the raised eyebrow of a friend; even the constant questioning or belittling of my rationale or ability. Slowly, as things progressed and the cabin took shape the criticisms fell away, replaced by expressions of support.

To suddenly have my own confidence stumble is disorientating. Seeing the cabin unsupported above the two miscreant sonotubes made me feel as if I had failed; as if I was naive to have believed I was capable of building a home for myself and the future family I long for.

The steps to be taken to stablise the foundation and prevent further damage were obvious; some guttering and a bobcat later, I hope the worst of the damage is done. To manage the water is the main objective; and though not inexpensive, I will hopefully have it taken care of before the ground freezes.

There must be a time in any undertaking that you hit rock bottom; a time when you believe for a moment that what you have to offer is no longer enough; and therein lies the real test I guess.

Someone once said that the world has no failures; just people who didn`t know how close they were to success when they gave up.

Until we cannot raise our feet to take the next step, we have no excuse but to keep walking; no matter how tired by the prospect of something we might be.

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