If you want to get something done right, you don’t do it yourself.  You do it with other people at a turtle’s pace.  Slow and steady wins the race.  This week, we finished the foundation(s) for both Daniela and Andrew’s homes.  We learned that when you try to jump around and speed through tasks like a rabbit, you end up much further behind than if you had stuck to your original tortoisesque pace.

Before we got to the foundation, however, we had to finish the greenhouse — from last week.  We mixed and poured and plastered ourselves silly with delight, and at long last, the greenhouse was brought to completion inside and out.  Plastering was quite an enjoyable experience, although I did get a little lime burned (wear serious impenetrable gloves while plastering.)

Finally, we got to two full days of beautiful conditions ripe for creating our foundation.  With all of us, the majority of the work only took two days.  We filled the entire form with drain rock and blue DOW chemical foam insulation.

Then, disaster struck.  I hit our main sewer exit pipe while digging with a mattock (pick axe.)  Fortunately, it wasn’t the end of the world, and I quickly removed the section and then we replaced it.


The rest of the day was spent cutting rebar and laying it into place over blue DOW chemical styrofoam insulation.  This is quite necessary to maintain an insulated foundation in such an extreme climate (-50º F in January?!).  We tied the rebar and called it a day.

During the weekends, I work at a restaurant called the Coal Creek Grill in Crested Butte.  It’s a beautiful place up here — and I just happened upon the most magical swimming hole called Meridian Lake just ten minutes away from work and our build!  I’ve been stopping by after work to center myself in the relatively cold water.  It’s been working.  Not to mention, of course, the sheer beauty of Meridian Lake.

Then I went to music in the park.  People were dancing.  Live music is always nice, especially on sunny Sunday afternoons.


Then, it was back to foundations to tie all the L bar for the stem wall and also the Z bars which connect the two setback foundations to one another.  We had a jolly old time getting all that installed, (which is hard work — especially when you realize that you should have laid the L’s first!)  We finished all the rebar and tied it all together, and then played some music together in the common room.  What a day!


The next day, it was time to pour.  we were all extremely nervous (in a good way) to see all our work get buried underneath 4 inches of concrete.  It was great being able to learn from the concrete crew how to do the pour correctly and efficiently.  Once it was all said and done, we just looked at that finished, screeded beauty and marvelled that it was us who made it all happen.

After our dance party, we sat down, had a hearty meal, and discussed what we would tackle next.

Remember all those pallets we got and took apart?

We ended up using them — in vain.

We used them to make…

Bathroom vanities.





Next time on Community Rebuilds:  Mount Crested Butte



  • Electrically eccentric funk junk funhouse in Gunnison, Colorado owned by renegade / architect JoeBob Merritt overtaken by interns to create bathroom vanities

  • Crazed interns hijack Bobcat mini forklift

  • Contractor auteur Dusty teaches stifled interns the basics of cabinetry

  • Interns build their own iron cage enclosure — for the stem wall

  • The best fourth of July parade you’ve (likely) never been in

  • Concrete pouring and stem wall completion

  • And much more!



And finally… the moment we’ve all been waiting for…

We begin framing.





Until next time,


Erik Hans Rasmussen – Mount Crested Butte 2016 Intern

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