18 December 2010

A Foundational Anniversary

Today marks one year from the day the foundation of our house was poured.  After demolition day, pouring the foundation was probably the single most captivating part of the entire process.

I wrote about it in real time here, so I won't rehash that, but I loved the foundation process that I wanted to write about it once more.

It took five weeks to go from an empty lot to a complete foundation.  Here are some of the steps in that process.  First, forms were laid out to define the footprint of the house.  Concrete would be poured up to the top of the horizontal boards.  Since this was the low side of the lot, more boards were needed to build up this side:

Then, because foundations aren't just a solid slab of concrete (and because I can imagine that much concrete would be super pricey), the "ground" level had to be built up to the top of the forms.  And then they had to pack down the fill:

Then all of the channels were dug where the foundation "beams" (deeper vertical parts of the slab added for strength, usually under walls) would go.  Before any pictures were taken, the remaining segments of fill were covered in plastic to guard against erosion and to keep dirt from getting into the concrete.  (This part of the process apparently hasn't changed much, as we were finding pieces of plastic sheeting from the original house's foundation for weeks after demolition.)

Rebar was worked into all of the channels and on top of the fill to give the foundation strength:

Finally it was time to bring in the cement truck and pumper and see some real action.  They poured the concrete room by room, working out the air pockets, smoothing the surface, and skimming off the water that rose to the top.  Here they had finished all of the front rooms and were about to get started on the guest room:

After the guest room was poured, a few guys did their thing in there while another poured the back porch.

Although the pour was on a Friday, the workers were dedicated enough to return the next day to remove the forms so we could get a good look at the beginnings of our new house:

I am so glad to have been there to witness the foundation work.  That kind of thing is so foreign to my experience, but I love learning new things, and it's amazing to watch truly skilled people whose work product isn't just a piece of writing or a drawing of electrical designs but a concrete (tee hee) thing.  It's got to be physically demanding, and the workers will never get rich doing it, but I really hope they love their work as much as I loved watching it.

Watching the pour was fortunate for us because we actually missed most of the earlier foundation work.  Our builder was nice enough to take pictures and e-mail them to us while we were on vacation doing this:

And this:

And a little of this:

(And some things on land, too.)

1 comment:

  1. Pretty cool. We added on to our house when I was a freshman in high school, and I helped tamp down the concrete for the perimeter pour (pier and beam house). It was August; I passed out from heat exhaustion.