So, after seemingly countless steps leading up to this point, we finally installed the ground level concrete floor. Now we're getting somewhere! Of course this meant another appointment with the goliath concrete pumper.
First, as you saw, we filled in around the forms with dirt. Then prepped the area with a layer of plastic sheeting.
Back again! This time the pumper was used to create the floor of our rental unit, garage, and home office. Looking good!
Finally smoothed out and drying, the foundation is complete.
If you look closely, you can see that the concrete floor slab is poured in sections. This allows time to fill and smooth without the concrete drying before you can finish the surface almost to a polish. Now that I can better see the floorplan, I can't wait to finally start building the living space in this house!
Well, the foundation is OFFICIALLY DONE. I already had an appreciacion for the hard work it takes, but having a hands-on role in smoothing it gives me brand new perspective.
Here it is in all it's glory:
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention… once the foundation is laid it's back-filled. Which means when it's finished it looks pretty much the same as before it's started. All that hard work is hidden beneath the surface. Make no mistake though, it's EXTREMELY important. Today's lesson is that just like most things in life, a great house wouldn't be what it is without the unseen work behind it.
Have you ever noticed that the longer you sit still, the harder it is to start moving again? The same principle applies to concrete. It has to be constantly moving, or it starts to harden. This meant we had to act fast. As soon as the concrete was poured into the foundation forms we needed to shape and smooth it or it would be uneven and lumpy. No sitting still for us!
Many hands make light work they say…
Here I am getting my hands dirty. I have to say I was surprised to learn that smoothing concrete is a lot like leveling flour in a measuring cup!
So, this is a concrete pumper truck and it IS as big as it looks. In order to get it close enough to the foundation we had to have truckloads of gravel delivered and spread.
Since we rented it by the HOUR, we made sure to have everything prepped and ready- including extra hands- so we could get the footings for the foundation poured in as timely a manner as possible.
I discovered something about Matt as well. He's FAST! It took him just part of one morning to finish the pour and send the pumper truck on its way. What experience! I wonder what else I'll learn about him on the path to completing our new home…
You may think the first step to a well-built house is the same as the first step to a well-built relationship; laying a good foundation. Guess what? You're right! However, like any a good relationship, much preparation is involved before that foundation can be successfully laid.
Our first step was to strip and level the ground…
…and dig trenches everywhere concrete needed to be poured. Then, we went through the steps of adding wooden forms into the trenches. These act as a mold for the concrete as it dries.
The result doesn't look very pretty, but it's all an integral part of the process. Again, sounds like a relationship, no?
As many of you know, Matt and I are taking on a huge project- building a new house/office/rental apartment right in our own (literal) backyard. It has been a goal of ours for a number of years, so it's somewhat relieving to see the house start to take on physical form. This will be the first time I'll get to have a hands-on part in a project like this, and I want to take the opportunity to share the experience with you. For this reason, over the next few months, I'll be posting our progress, complete with photographic evidence of triumphs and setbacks. Hopefully the latter will be minimal, but whatever happens, it should be an adventure!