Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Foundation walls poured

The foundation walls were poured today, and I was able to make it onsite for a bit in order to take some pictures. This is the kitchen and main house front wall:

The tall metal thing to the left is an earthquake retention strap, to better secure the house to the foundation; the gray box-thing is a crawlspace vent.

Here's the concrete pumper truck, from Ralph's Concrete:

The concrete was supplied by Cadman, and the job took about 3 1/2 loads. Their truck drivers had to back their way up the entire driveway but seemed to make it look easy; I'd guess they're pretty expert at this sort of thing:

I was expecting the walls to be poured of course, but I was surprised at the large number of concrete "pads" that were also needed. Clearly I had not paid much attention to the foundation plan, although Paul had told me that the county engineer had required a second row of supports near the front of the house. This picture was taken shortly after the pour started, and you can see the two parallel rows in the background:

I had never seen a concrete pour before today and wasn't sure what to expect. I have to say, the whole crew was really moving as a team, with two guys managing the tube from the pumper truck, the guy in the orange shirt managing the pump boom location (with his little joystick control box), and the other guys pulling strings and inserting post brackets, etc. This is a good picture of the job site during the pour:

Here's the garage back wall being poured:

The guy managing the pumper truck tube tries to pour concrete up to, or just slightly above, the expected level line, which is marked by a red chalk line inside the forms, with small nails pounded periodically into the line. After the form was filled (roughly) to that line, everyone started chipping in to manually make sure the form was filled to that line as precisely as possible. Mainly this was done by smoothing the surface out with gloved hands, shaking the forms to induce settling, and scooping excess concrete out as needed:

Another guy would come behind them then, and float off the surface to make sure it was nice and smooth, using the aforementioned nails as a guide:

Next strings were strung (or re-strung) to mark the outside of the framed walls, for use as a guide in inserting the hold-down bolts that secure the wall bottom plates to the foundation:

From there things seemed to relax just slightly, and some of the crew started re-checking the walls for straightness, adding a brace here or there in case a wall had moved slightly under the pressure of the concrete. I had to leave at that point, but I'm glad I was able to see most of the process in action.

Later in the evening, here's that double row of concrete pads:

And a nice view of the front kitchen wall, with its hold-down bolts:

The pockmarks on the concrete were caused by some rain we got after the pour...otherwise the surface would have been much smoother. Doesn't really matter though.

I'd like to thank Dan and the rest of the crew from Complete Concrete Construction (no web site, afaik) for letting me hang around during the job, take pictures, and pester them with questions.

1 comment:

  1. hey jay, looking good. it seems there is plenty of room for a mother in law (mother) suite. I'm glad your planning ahead. Bill