Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Concrete Example


This became a familiar sight on the site last week.  I almost started chanting “U-S-A", but I thought someone might hear me and think I was strange.


The first order of business was to pour the retaining walls on either side of the lower driveway. 


The truck had all these attachments (don’t you just love attachments?) to extend the chute so that a pumper truck wasn’t needed.


The wall crew came back out to manage the flow into these last two walls.  I think the fellow in the overalls was the one who revealed a bit too much of himself in my previous post.  I think the overalls are an improvement.

Then it was time to bring in the slab crew and go horizontal.


They worked in patchwork bits, according to what needed to set first.  Here you see them smoothing out the bottom of the elevator shaft.  This will be the pit for the mechanicals if we ever put an elevator.


But before they did the elevator pit, they had poured the garage floor.  Each level: basement, garage, and then carport, has a slight change in elevation to keep the water out of the house.


Then while those bits set up, they moved all the way over to the edge and started pouring and raking and smoothing.


As I was admiring their work, I noticed one of the fellows making marks in the wet concrete:


I let my mind run with it for a while.  Something from the da Vinci Code?  Where they buried the guy who didn’t chip in for donuts?  X marks the spot…

Then I asked them.  The truth was a little less fantastic.  Those mark the places of bits of rebar that stick up to show the elevation.  They are the guidelines for keeping everything level and square with the world.

In other places, they took pains to not have things level.  Here in the garage, they put wood in the concrete and carefully sloped the garage door opening down so that water would run out and not in.


Meanwhile, as their shadows grew longer, they worked away at the basement slab, taking pains to smooth it.


Builder Gary arrived just in time to supervise the placement of the steel supports for the “moment frame” that will make the pretty brick arches in carport/party pavilion structurally sound.


The garage floor is now solid enough to remove the framing and let it flow into the carport, where the steel is now wearing concrete shoes.


Then just when you didn’t think these concrete guys could have any more fun, they pull out the whirly machine!


A few final touches with the hand smoothers and the job is all done!


And a few days later…


the upper slab is done also. The walls are backfilled and gravel is on the lower driveway.  A concrete example of a job well done.

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