Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Big Pour ... Almost

I took Thursday and Friday off of my "day job" in order to finish up the prep work for the big concrete pour. My Dad and I worked like mad men for two days so the site would be ready for the inspector. The inspector came and we passed even though we weren't quite finished. After he left we still needed to finish up with some of the insulation and most of the rebar. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let me go back to the beginning of the labor intensive long weekend. I started out by installing a loop of 4" corrugated plastic drain pipe in the event we should need a radon mitigation system.

This is what it looked like all buried. One spot near the masonry heater didn't get as low as it should have, leaving a bit of a speed bump. I don't think it will matter too much, but I probably should have pulled it out and reburied it.

I began Thursday morning by laying down an 8 mil plastic vapor barrier. I had read that if moisture wicks up through a slab on grade, it can cause flooring problems. I figured the plastic was a cheap enough insurance policy. I was joined shortly after I got on site by my Dad who probably regrets he showed up at all. We spent the day sweating and cutting XPS insulation to fit in a life size game of pink tetris.

The temperatures were hot and the humidity was high which makes for miserable working conditions. Nonetheless, we got it all just about done with the help of my Mom and my Wife. And then a storm rolled through.

We waited out the rain and decided we could still get it all cleaned up and the rebar completed before the big pour on Saturday morning. My Mom and my Wife sucked up water with the shop vac for three hours while my Dad and I finished up the steel work.

My Dad cut more that 75 32" pieces of rebar to anchor the wall to the footings. He's become invaluable to the project and we very much appreciate his help.

While all that was going on, I tied all the splices together in the footings. We used three runs of 1/2" rebar (aka #4). We used a 5' piece of pipe as a cheater bar to make the bends. Once they were in place and tied together we chaired them up on old paver bricks.

By ten o'clock Friday night (picture was taken earlier) we were all ready for the pour the following morning, provided it didn't rain again. We received a lot of rain and we don't have paved roads, so there can only be so much moisture in the ground and still allow a concrete truck carrying 10 yards of concrete to drive across our land.

It didn't rain through the night ... but it did rain Saturday morning. My cousin Josh (the foreman of team concrete) and I made the decision that it was too wet. It was a hard pill to swallow, but it was probably the safe bet. We're hoping to get it done one night this week since next weekend is a holiday weekend.

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