Thursday, June 16, 2011

Concrete, concrete, concrete!

One really big thing and some small things today.

Our stem walls were poured! Another late night/early morning getting the forms finished (thanks, Paul the contractor!), set up, and centered.

The forms start as 20" x 10' pieces of plywood, which are then cut to length and nailed to 2x4's. Two of these equals one wall- then, we drilled through the 2x4's, 4 times per, top and bottom (blue X's, following the pink line). This is where we inserted the spreaders that keep the walls secured whatever distance apart you want them. You then secure the spreaders. We laid the rebar on top of those, centered the forms, used yet more 2x4's to brace the forms against one another, and were ready to pour.

You may notice the cement truck looks a little weird-- that's because it's a shortload truck, which means that the cement, sand, gravel, and water are mixed on-site to your specifications-- and you only pay for what you use, not what's sent out in one of the big revolving trucks. It is a total time-saver, the whole pour for the walls took only an hour start to finish.

Beautiful! Not a lot of pictures of the process as it was an all-hands-on-deck activity, but I hope this gets the idea across.

A whole bunch else happened today, like the fabrication for the bathroom vent being completed, our skylight hole and frame being done, the studs and joists prepped for wiring (oh, and all of our ceiling joists are in), I learned how to weld, and the frame for the swamp cooler was completed. Our contractor Paul is a freakin' rockstar with how much he gets done every day, and he thinks we can be in it in a week and a half.. we'll see!

Why is the little welder on the tractor?

Because the little welder is going on the roof!

Our skylight. It's between the kitchen and living room. With all of the natural light in here, we will only have to use electric lights when it's pitch black outside.

My very first weld, circled. The person who did the other welds had no such excuse! This is our bathroom vent tube.

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