Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Irons in the fire

Lots of 'em. Been running down answers, contractors and engineers for retaining walls needed after last months grading. Went into the County Planning Dept and picked up all the related (and unrelated) forms. What a crazy stew of regulations. "We're from the Government and we're here to help you."

Reagan was right, Government isn't the solution. It's the problem.

What's with these retaining wall contractors? They think they're neurosurgeons or something? Must be w/ the rates they charge. I should quit muttering about it and just change careers. Yeah, I've got the healthy back for that (hah). For the money you'd think these guys would have more answers. Seems like I'm ahead of the guys I've talked to in just a week or two of looking into it.

The good news is 1) I got a great recommendation to a salty old engineer who'll do the walls and 2) My friend turned me on to ICF (insulated concrete forms) from Nudura. These things you build concrete forms out of are like legos. ICF looks like the way to go -- really simplifies it for the do-it-yourselfer. So sorry contractors. You lost the job. I'll pay to get the footings dug, have the steel cut, bent and drop shipped and put it together myself. ICF Forms for my ~80' wall will run less than a $1000. That's a bargain when you figure I eliminate at least 10-15 mason/carpenter days vs setting up traditional CMU or poured in place walls.