Saturday, May 26, 2007

Heck of a week

We've had a busy week! The culmination was pouring concrete, which ended good only through serendipity and pure luck, but was as close to disastrous as I could imagine.

The mistake I made was thinking rebar could be pulled up through wet cement like is done with reinforcing mesh on a concrete slab. We set it in the bottom of the footings, then after we poured, tried to pull it up via attached metal wires.

No way.

At least not with the "stiff mix" they poured for strength. This is cement that piles steep rather than flows level. More water in the mix might have made it possible.

With cement drying and us still needing to get the rebar positioned and allthread precisely embeded (holds down the house beams), we needed to work fast. And we owe everything to our friends. We asked Paul, Abby, and John to lend a hand before the pour, and then Johny and Alex happened to show up to pick up Paul and Abby for lunch, just as things started going bad.

Thanks to all their unsolicited help, we were able to shovel half the cement into a wheelbarrow (which I only brought as an afterthought), raise the rebar to the correct level, re-pour the cement and set the allthread before it was too late. This was on six footings, each with 1500 pounds of cement. And they did it all in about 15 minutes.

Now for the week in review (click photos to enlarge):

First M&M augured three 8' deep holes. We had to remove loose material so the footings rested on virgin soil. But one had roots so we had to dig around those and cut them out. Miserable job.

We put footings in the bottom of the holes, with a sonotube on top.

We also build square footings and set them in 6" shallow holes.

Here's everything after pouring concrete


Anonymous said...

Heck of a week indeed! It was good to see that with enough people helping, it IS possible to pour, then repair, the basically RE-pour a foundation in a short while. If this house comes down, it sure won't be for lack of support.

Probably it'll be God's doing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew, this is your Aunt Sally. You should be getting some comments from my travel agent and some of my English students. Every one is really impressed, and envious. People can't make their own houses in Italy. See you soon, love and prayers.

Anonymous said...

hello my name is Gianni and I come from Italy.. I know the ount and she gaves me this page for to see the works that you done
with love,