Extending the Land Terraces Grading Behind the House and Near the Pool

A lot of progress has been made moving earth and reshaping the land around the house. Today that work continued, and some work was done further down the hill to level the ground around the pool.

There is a start of a level area behind the house, where there will be a stone terrazza by the master bedroom (foreground in photo below) and a portico (toward the background) and a small yard/garden.

(Anne was concerned that there wasn’t enough flat area behind the house. Kevin said that this work is only partially complete, it will fit the plan we agreed to, and that we will be able to make adjustments when we visit in May.)

Start of Level Behind the House
Start of Level Behind the House
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There was a lot of need to level the land near the pool, as that part of the hill was rather steep. They started on that work and have much of the rough earth moving done.

Grading Around the Pool
Grading Around the Pool
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After looking at the pictures, I had one concern about the situation in front of the house. I couldn’t see the olive trees that were to surround the path to the front door.

Here are all the photos from today and a short video, showing work near the house and the pool. And another beautiful spring day:

 

Grading Behind the House

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All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Lots of Earth to Move and Add Continuing the Grading Near the House

Today they continued the work to move large amounts of soil from in front of the house to behind, to make some level terraces on the hill.

Now they have the slope down from the parking area to the house softened and the area right in front of the house leveled.

Front and Slope Down from Parking
Front and Slope Down from Parking
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Here’s a view taken from the kitchen (north) side of the house where I can see some olive trees and the level area in front.

Front Grading Nearly Complete
Front Grading in Process
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Work has also been done on the north side of the house, to level that slope and move soil to the back of the house.

(One question that arises here is the slope of the adjacent land. It will still be just the hillside, so the edge of our property will be above in some places, below in others. I’m not sure how we’ll address that. I don’t want to need to build retaining walls that aren’t in the budget.)

House from South Side
House from South Side
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Here are all the photos:

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All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Starting to Shape the Land Major Earth Movement Begins

Now that the base slab for the top floor is complete and the concrete is curing, they are starting to shape the soil to turn the hill the house is on into a series of terraces.

Starting to Move and Level Soil
Starting to Move and Level Soil
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My favorite view of the work is the one below, that shows the finished top floor base slab and the view, with the digging equipment up the hill from the front of the house.

Looking at the ground floor columns and this base slab reinforces [pun intended] my security in the strength of the construction.

Completed Ground Level Structure
Completed Ground Level Structure
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The remainder of the pictures from today show some of the heavy work relocating soil from in front to behind the house to make the terrace levels.

(I’m not quite sure what the reinforcing steel bars shown in the last photos are for. I’m sure we’ll find out in the coming days.)

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All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

A Look Back How We Got Ourselves into This

While searching for something else, I came across the first email Kevin sent that proposed that we build new rather than buy an existing house and improve it.

This email came as we were trying to firm up what houses we’d see on our June 2016 trip.

He eased into it …

Thinking about this completely differently.

Then he proposed his alternative. He was right that we were expecting that we’d have to do some work, but we weren’t looking for a complete restoration …

Instead of spending all or most of the budget and given that you are open to a project requiring some work, we approach this completely differently.

Here’s the pitch …

Attached is an article set to appear in ITALIA MAGAZINE. The subject is right-sized houses. Places that are done in a smaller overall volume but deliver all the beauty and function of larger houses, WITHOUT the cost and maintenance. There’s a house, CASA IDEALE, with great views, privacy, proximity to town, an open plan architecture and three spacious bedrooms, all done in a roughly 140 sqm format for around €300k. It’s even designed so if it’s just two people, they can live entirely on the ground floor. Projected construction time is 10-12 months. I attach the designs.

And his close …

This sort of approach could be excellent.

magazine article about a small Italian house
Advertorial
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Now, it turns out that the “article” was really advertorial, but the idea was a sound one. I was trying to keep the size of the house and the cost down.

Since our spec list really focused on buying an existing house in pretty good shape and doing only minor improvements, I might have rejected the idea out of hand if I hadn’t worked with Kevin in 2015. I felt he had a good sense of what we wanted and what was available.

The size and floorplan referred to in the article aren’t very close to the plan we are building today, but we did bite on his concept. And here we are, not with Casa Ideale, but our own Casa Avventura.

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Image: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure

Starting to Pour Top Floor Slab Concrete on the Steel and Poroton Blocks

Following on the work from last week where they prepared the top floor base, they began to pour the concrete.

The concrete crane is here to distribute the concrete. It gets a supply of concrete from a truck that sits behind it and pipes it up to the top floor.

Concrete Crane and Truck at new house construction site in Le Marche
Concrete Crane and Truck
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Before the concrete trucks arrived, a first step was to lay a grid of rebar on top of the Poroton blocks that was tied into the rest of the rebar. Here’s a picture of the grid in place, after they had started the pour.

Grids on Top of Poroton Blocks at new house construction site in Le Marche
Grids on Top of Poroton Blocks
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This shot shows the strength of the perimeter rebar that ties the grid together.

Heavy Rebar Around Perimeter at new house construction site in Le Marche
Heavy Rebar Around Perimeter
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Here is the album of today’s photos.

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All images: Copyright © Our Big Italian Adventure