The Big Addition: Concrete

(with a touch of demolition, and even more construction...)


Pour Some Concrete on Me!

A very busy week. Work continued on the last footing. It is very tough work because there is little headroom. The dirt is dammed up so it does not fall into the form for the retaining wall. This footing will be poured with the 2nd (or 3rd) visit from Mr. Concrete.

The foundation inspection was Wednesday - we wanted Tuedsay, but since we are about as far from the county building as you can get, inspections are only done Monday and Wednesday, so... the pour was set for Thursday. To give the concrete folks some options, our friend George returned with his tractor to help move some dirt around to make space.

Stripping the old roof(s) was in full swing. Plural because the original asphalt roof was still under the steel. Not too surprising. The brochure of the current roof lists that as a selling point.

Our friends Mary and Robin are doing a similar project, and Mary suggested we take lots of pictures of the pour. An easy task, but if it's too many, you can blame Mary. We were surprised that they would bring almost fully loaded trucks up here - 9 yards each. Six trucks, so 54 yards. That's about 217,000 pounds, or about the empty weight of an empty Boeing 777-200. Or the space shuttle orbiter. And it's a very labor intensive process. There were about 20 people on site. We counted some 110 bolts poking up out of the foundation.

It's amazing how quickly the forms come down. Not only same day, but in some cases, about 2 hours after the pour. Whitlow did such a nice job on the retaining wall face that we are considering using that for the surface.

On Friday, Whitlow returned to start backfilling the forms, and also to start the process of leveling the garage floor. First step is dirt. Clearly, since we filled much of the space vacated by dirt with concrete, we don't need all 50yds for backfill and leveling. One of our neighbors needed some fill, so at least half of it was trucked to his house.

Rebar is added to the last footing. It... George pops by with his John Deere to... Progress on the rear roof. The steel... The rear roof is completely stripped.... While concrete work was going on, roof... One consolation is that the metal roof... Early on Thursday, Beth took some... This fog shot was Beth's favorite.... Concrete mixer number 1 shows up around... The complete scene from the roof of the... Liquid grey flows into the pump.... Soon after, mixer number 2 shows up and... Concrete flowing into the new bedroom... The main support for the bedroom. Beth... The lower tie-back partially filled.... Bedroom support filled. ... Smoothing the bedroom support.... Under the house, concrete flows into the... About seven guys from Whitlow and JMR... Concrete oozes from the forms.... Outside, starting to fill the piers.... One pier full.... That's one way to do it! This hose has... More vibrato...... Dale removes voids the classic way: with... The two west piers are full as well as... Looking a bit like aa lava (in contrast... Filled on the south side.... Smooth forms...... Starting to look like a foundation!... The center grade beam is filled... The front of the 2 car bay is the last... Forms begin to disappear (amazingly... More forms disappear.... The view  out from under the house.... Looking up at the bedroom support. Many... The finished bedroom support. That... You know, the platform has an uncanny... Under the house, the surfacing of the... We may just leave this as bare... A few days later, the retaining wall... On Friday, the dirt is finally gone....

The Slab

August 6th - are we in week 8? Whitlow started the week with base rock and sand. The slab sits on a rebar grid, on top of little concrete blocks (dobies), on sand, on top of a 10mil plastic vapor barrier, on top of base rock, on top of dirt (and the center grade beam). Backfilling and drainage of the retaining wall began - silly to put drainage here, but it's required. The last trench is brought to the retaining wall and doweled in. Construction continued on the roof: renailing, insulation, new plywood decking, and framing for the bathroom skylights. After the rebar was inspected, the slab pour was set for Thursday. Our first big lumber delivery showed up, as well as the 9 custom engineered Hardy walls.

Once again, an army of contractors were on site: the usual crew, Whitlow, JMR, and 3 mixers. Pouring a slab is a tricky job. The slab slopes from the back of the garage to the front for drainage. Keeping it level to itself is the art. Whitlow's crew shows how it's done in the pictures here. Just before the pour started, Whitlow decided to try to pour the last major footing below the house. The footing was done, but two BIG bolts needed to be buried in it (as well as a shoe for a 6x6 post). So while the initial pour was in progress, the crew worked under pressure to get the bolts in. In order to do that, a Hardy wall had to be installed first. They got it done just in time.

The slab, with expansion joints in place, was completed around noon. To date, we've had 9 mixers, a total of 77 yds poured. We're not done yet - there will be one more small pour in a few weeks. Next week, we'll be framing and soon... BIG steel will come to The Big Addition.

Tuesday 8/7 was a foggy  morning. At... Starting backfilling of the retaining... Work continues on the last trench. Now... The rebar grid - you can see the little... The typical view taken Wednesday, 8/8. ... Everybody on the roof! Construction! New... Closeup of the roof work.... Pour day stars with a good hose down of... Tools of the trade...... Concrete flowing from Granite Rock to... This is where Whitlow really shows their... Floating the back corner. The blue pole... It's starting to look like a garage.... The one-car bay is filled.... Can't quite tell if this is the... Moving into the two-car bay...... Leveling a slab is an art. Of course... A vast sea of concrete.... Now, while Whitlow and JMR are busy out... The engineered Hardy wall in the laundry... Basically in place, after some ... Getting those bolts to drop down is... Manny works at it from below.... In place and bolted down! One wall down,... Just in time! JMR is ready to pump under... Then the form.... The bolts are now basically permanent.... Outside, Whitlow is cutting expansion... There's a knee tool (left) which has a... All the joints are cut in. Presenting:... Another view.... By Friday 8/10, the forms were gone... Another view behind the retaining wall... We've been hosing the slab down a few...