Excavation for the main volume of the house began on Tuesday and our fears of hitting ledge have been realized. The far upper right corner shows 6' from existing grade to the bottom of the hole (where we hit ledge). That will be taken up by gravel, 1' of footing and only about 5' of wall. The ledge dives down a bit in the center of the house but rises again near the dining room and living area.
Lacking the funds to blast we'll be working with what's at hand, pinning the footings to the ledge and pouring a 2" covering slab over the exposed ledge. We're counting on substantial storage area in the basement so we may raise the building out of the ground a bit more than we had planned. It's important that we maintain 4' of cover on the footings to avoid heaving issues so more fill around the house may counter the raised elevation of the foundation wall.
Hopefully today the last of the digging will take place and we'll have a better idea exactly what elevations we'll be dealing with. It's not the deep full height basement we were planning on but we're hopefully we can squeeze 6' clear beneath the floor framing.
The weather has been great and allowed the foundation contractor to get caught up and we're hopeful the forms will arrive on site soon.
Center of house looking South - more elevation to work with...