I finally got around to starting to dig out the footing on my house this year.
First I decided, I was not going to hire a machine because I needed a bit more precision in the excavation. Perhaps for some other stuff, but not the footing. So, it all needed to be done by hand. Not a massive excavation by any stretch, just a strip footing, 8-20 inches at most below grade, 24 inches wide. Mostly just cutting sod to get down to the hard stuff that could support a house. Decided to do that one myself, rather than pay some guys to dig. It also gave me the time to figure other things out regarding the rest of the house as I worked.
So, as I am digging away, and was starting to get a bit tired of digging, I started to revisit why I did not hire some guys to do it. So i started to make a list of pros and cons (mostly cons) of hiring maestros / labourers to do the work:
---- They would not dig a foundation at all. hell, there would not be a foundation really of any sort. They would just build right on top of the mud, likly with some precast concrete piers with a couple of pieces of rebar to hold the house together, spread way too far apart. all done in classic domino style.
----- it would take me at least 8 hours to explain to them and convince them why I was doing it the way I was doing it, even though it was none of their frigen buisness.
----- I would spend at least 8-10 hours of their 6 hour work day, running around managing them, and not just managing them in the sense of how to do the work. For example, pick them up at the bus stop in the morning (at 9-10 am, not 5-6 am), wait for them at the bus stop when they were late (1-2 hours on average), stop everything because they needed to go to lunch (1 hour lunch, plus 30 mins getting back, 30 mins going), start everything again (another 30-60 mins), stop work because it rained, start work because it stopped raining, stop everything because they needed to catch the bus, and so on, and so on. In short, they would make me the employee.
----- they would over excavate, and I would endup needing to dig everything out even more to make sure I got everything to the same level again. in other words, I would be redigging the dig anyway.
---- At least 5-10 tools would disappear just in the course of excavating the footing (no way they are touching my imported power tools).
---- they would likly quit in the middle for no real reason, and I would have to go find some more guys
---- those guys would then not show up for work, and I would have to fire them and go find some other guys
---- it would take at least 2-6 guys total, working less than 6 hours a day, to excavate, and even if it was a 1 day job for 2 guys, it would take 2 months.
---- and so on, and so on.
---- still trying to come up with one
Before I had even finished the list of reasons for not hiring maestros to dig the ditch, surprise, surprise, I was done digging the ditch (within a 1 inch tolerance, thanks to the laser level [oh yea, they don't know what a laser level is, and I sure was not going to show them my laser level]). My total time was less than 20 hours, digging part time, over a week or so, and all my tools were still accounted for except for the single high quality Chinese made shovel I broke.
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