Progress,  page 22
Progress seems slow at times, especially when we're stuck moving and compacting a lot of fill
dirt.  We see things change a lot faster when we're installing foam panels for the walls, though.  
Here we've added the remaining portions of the downhill wall to bring it just above the future
slab level.  We have a lot of dirt to fill in there yet, but now that we're working in a larger and
more open space we can use the Caterpillar to better advantage and it goes much quicker.  We
invited a concrete subcontractor to come out and discuss the slab with us, and he recommended
we just wait until we can do the entire slab instead of doing it in two sections
(kitchen/dining/master bedroom versus the rest of the house).  We'll have to use a pumper to do
it, but it doesn't affect the overall cost that much and the contractor says we'll get a better job
from the workmen if they're spending most of their time on the finishing instead of
wheelbarrowing concrete into the nether reaches of the house.  That means we probably won't
get the slab in until after the new year ... sigh.

Note the notch in the wall.  That's going to be the doorway from the great room out to the deck.  
It is for a set of double doors, each of which is four feet wide with mostly glass in them.  There
will be a huge window on each side of the double doors as well.  We like the view.

Overkill department: the slab will be eight inches thick of 3000 psi concrete with embedded
fibers over 6 inch wire concrete mesh tied to #4 rebar on two foot centers suspended 2 inches
above the ABC underlayment.  It sounds excessive, but the difference in cost between that and a
really marginal slab is less than that between the various types of floor tile we are considering
installing on top of it.
Another section of underground air return duct.  This portion runs under the great room and
connects to the previously installed ductwork in the dining room to bring it the rest of the way to
the air handler.