Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Site Prep

Tonight we finished the base underneath our slab and footings. It came with a lot of hard work and I think my parents may have earned their sainthood. Some time, money and definitely a lot of hard work could have been saved, but I made a mistake. I shouldn't have had the entire excavation site dug to the depth of the bottom of the footings. If I had it to do all over again, I would simply strip the top one foot of topsoil and make a wide trench deep enough for the footings and wide enough for the footings plus the insulation. But, I haven't perfected my time machine yet so we were forced to go with what we had. Here is what we did.

First, we put down a layer of crushed stone throughout the entire excavation site about 4 inches deep and compacted it.

Then, we built up the perimeter wide enough for the footings and insulation with more crushed stone. We used screed rails and screeded it level and then compacted it again. This totaled another 4 inches (8 total inches).

The stuff in the middle is class 5 road gravel. That's what we used to build up the center under the slab portion. Once we got the perimeter done, I could no longer get the skid steer in there. This is where all the hard work comes into play.

We had to build up the middle using form boards. We built the form boards out of 1x12 boards. They should have been 2x12s instead. We got it part way filled in and then it rained really hard. The extra water pressure caused the boards to bow out. I'll have to carve the class 5 out to make them straight again before we can pour the concrete.

We filled and compacted each run of class 5 - wheel barrow by wheel barrow. I figure we probably moved better than 45 tons with wheel barrows and shovels between me, my wife and my parents.

When we got to the top of the forms we screeded it level. It feels really good to be done with the wheel barrows for a bit. Next, I'll compact it once more and then we'll be ready for the plumber to put in our under slab plumbing. Once that is in we'll set up forms outside of the class five to make our footings. I can't wait to cover all this hard work with a whole bunch of concrete.


  1. I'm glad the culvert under the approach road was easier than that! Looks good Jared! Let me know if you need help, I'll bring a six pack and a lawn chair!


  2. There should definitely be opportunities for a six pack and a lawn chair somewhere down the road. Do tool belts come with a beer holster?

  3. That's some good honest work. Thanks for the update.