Organic Emily

Home Build Update – Excavation, Footings, Foundation & Flat work!

Hello Friends!

I haven’t posted in a while because we have been so busy with the home build! I thought I would share some pictures with you on the progress of our big adventure! We are so grateful for this experience as difficult as it has been, it has been a wonderful learning experience and bonding time for our family! Hope you enjoy the pictures!

Excavation 1 Excavation 2 Excavation 3

Pictures above are from March when we finally got our permit back from the county to start building! Thank goodness my husband worked as a heavy equipment operator in the army so big machines are his favorite toys to play with!

Footings 1

Finished digging the trenches for the footings with a machine, but we still had to clean them out, make sure they were deep enough and string line everything to level it out. Cutting, bending and tying all the rebar together for footings was pretty hard work… little did we know what was to come. Many people use forms for the footings, but with the cost of lumbar we decided to pour directly into the ground. This took more concrete, but on a positive note we have bigger footings.

Footings 3Footings 2


Pump truck was there are ready to pour! We were pretty nervous as this was going to be our first big permanent project of the build!

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You can see my husband guiding the pump hose as we poured concrete to cover the rebar for the footings. We string lined everything and smoothed it out with a 2×4 and concrete tools. Thank goodness he has concrete experience as a landscaper!

Rebar prep for foundationRebar prep for foundation 2

We spent an entire Saturday bending, cutting and tying rebar into the footings. We were so grateful for family and friends who came to help! It was hard and were grateful to be done with the tedious work!

Foundation 2Foundation 3Foundation 4


When we set out to build we thought we would sub contract out the footings and foundation, but the guy who was supposed to do it kept pushing us off by a few months. So what did my husband do? He decided to take on the most difficult and dirtiest job of building a house! Foundation day came and it was brutal! We found a guy who rents forms, so with family at our rescue again we worked and worked and worked to set up heavy forms, pin them together with ties, being careful not to miss one to prevent a blow out! We had never known exhaustion like we did that entire week. They picked them up, unloaded them, pulled them into the house, set them up and had to use the excavator to move some walls to get them square. I told him I was never going to do it again! Phew! Did I mention we were tired? Haha!

Foundation 5

These are some of my older children. You can see how dirty the work was! They have been so awesome! Definitely grateful for good kids!

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The day came when we poured the walls! Both my husband and I were pretty nervous! So much concrete, money, time and energy were on the line. Literal blood, sweat and tears went into all the work we did to prep. Our whole heart and soul was in it! We held our breath, praying for angels to bare up the walls as we continued to pour. One corner was saved just in time, thanks to watchful eyes from our concrete guys. One of my sons was excited to get the chance to smooth the tops as they poured. It really has been an amazing learning experience!

Foundation 8Foundation 9Foundation 10

Inserting bolts and ties to tie into the framing while the concrete was still wet!

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Finally! The forms were taken off the following day, returned to the renter and we were left with walls! It was a sight to behold! This was the first time it felt like we were really building a home! Did I mention I told my husband I wasn’t going to do it again! LOL!

Septic plumbing 1Septic plumbing 2Septic plumbing 3

Septic plumbing was next on the list. We were grateful to be able to fit a small excavator through the walk out basement door to dig the trenches and back fill. It was still a lot of work to smooth it out and prep for flat work. My son enjoyed playing with the jack hammer to break out some concrete to fit pipes. Glad it was him and not me!

Flat work 1Flat work 2Flat work 3

The pump and concrete trucks finally arrived to pour the floor! We were one step closer to being less dirty! LOL! Thankfully my husband knows how to do flat work!

Flat work 4Flat work 5Flat work 6

The sun starting to beat down on us and the concrete was setting up fast. They all worked so hard to get it just right!

Flat work 7Flat work 8

We are so grateful for the people and resources in our lives to be able to build a home in probably the most difficult time in modern history! Haha! I laugh, but the truth is we have experienced a lot anxiety, hope and a determination to keep moving forward! It has been a test of our faith for sure! We are definitely grateful for the reassurances that we are on the right path. If you have it in your heart to add us to your prayers we sure would appreciate it! Our hope is to continue moving forward so we can provide a place of safety for our family, teach classes, improve our community and be a blessing to those in need. Thanks for sticking around this long! Hope to have lots more updates for you as we move into the next phase of the build!


Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, homeschool mom of 7 awesome kids, yoga/pilates instructor, a clinical and master herbalist, licensed massage therapist and soon to be traditional naturopath. She is a very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients, herbal and natural home care product recipes and loves teaching classes on gardening, plant identification and herbal remedy workshops. Check out the events and classes page for more info.


  1. Wow! That is unbelievably impressive! Congratulations on getting a major step accomplished.

  2. Angela Crook says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow!
    I can’t wait to see the finished product and come to your classes. Keep the updates coming!

  3. Susan E says:

    WOW! What an experience and what a memory! Your family will never forget working together to accomplish such a feat! It looks like its going to be quite a large home. Good for you for you and your family rolling up their sleeves and working together to do this. Keep the updates coming they are amazing to see. And, what a blessing to have a hubby who can do so many things!

  4. Beth Gardner says:

    Emily! I feel your pain! I have had a day like your many days of building where I was so tired when we were moving one time, that I couldn’t go any longer, and then I did anyway. That kind of tired is something I never want to feel again, so I totally get your saying you will NEVER do that again. Me either. What a great experience, knowing you did all that work! I look forward to seeing your home progress over the next months. Good luck!! I would love to make a painting for your home when it is finished, something that would complement it well!

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