Well, things are still a little slow with the house right now so I thought I would just show another view of what we have so far. We have still not completed our drawings. I know some of you are saying" you don't have drawings and you are building?" Well, we do things a little different sometimes! We have the footprint of the house and how we want it (or must be laid out to work with the sun) so its enough to put in the foundation by. I would not recommend this approach for people who do not have experience in building though.
This is the back retaining/foundation wall. It is a standard 8" thick and 4' tall here and then gets taller down where it turns. Poured concrete is much better than block and sometimes just as affordable. But even if it costs more, concrete is worth it. We will put a french drain down at the footing and then backfill so that we will have a flat area for a patio at the entrance. We set anchor bolts in the top of the wall (approx. every 4') when we poured which will be used to bolt the rat sill down. The rat sill will be a P.T. 2x6 and will carry the floor joists on this side. There will be a termite shield in between the concrete and 2x6. I don't think termites are going to chew through the concrete (although I have heard urban legends to the contrary) but they are a real issue down here. Having two 90 degree corners in this wall also stabilizes it greatly and relieves us of having to worry about putting bracing in between the foundation posts on the front of the house.