As promised, here is the house in Seattle that I am working on. It is a partial renovation; the existing house, which had no foundation to speak of, is being supported on a temporary structure (one of the wooden beams is visible under the house) while we pour a new concrete foundation. In this photo, the concrete footings have been poured, and the metal sticking up out of the ground is the steel reinforcement that will tie into the foundation walls.
The new house will keep features of the old, while expanding in front and gaining a second story as well. Therefore, almost everything that is visible in this photo — the brown siding, the roof — will be taken out, leaving just the stud walls behind.
Also visible in this photo are measures that prevent even a little bit of disturbed soil from being washed away by the rain: white plastic sheeting over piles of dirt, a temporary canopy on the left side of the house, and gutters that pull the water away from the construction area.
There’s little that’s conventional or simple about this house, so its construction is a real adventure. I have a fair bit of experience with basic wood framing, but I’m learning new things every day about all kinds of aspects of construction. It’s fun!