Friday, September 2, 2011
Construction Update September 2, 2011
When we first conceived expanding the studio over a part of the garage, we thought we would have metal or a wooden posts to hold everything up. But after talking to engineers about the project, Brian, my friend in Phoenix suggested I consider a concrete post with rebar inside. As this soon became the most advantageous system we forged ahead with it. But when I went to put the rebar cage into the hole I first realized that there was less than 8 inches between the overhead door tracks on each side of the common wall. Once I removed a section of the wall it became very clear that I could not run an 18" or even a 13" concrete post between those overhead door tracks. So in consultation with Ritchie Smith, my engineer, we came up with a modification at the top. It meant bending the 5/8" rebars near to the top and making a notch in the post for the door tracks. These are things that come up that one never imagined would be a problem. Hence, I am making the concrete post a full 18" of concrete up to the bottom of the overhead door tracks. The whole place may fall down, but this post is huge and has a great foundation.
If you look closely behind the bags of cement there is the 18" x 18" form for column #1 in the garage. We poured the bottom half, up to the cleat on the form this past Tuesday... and today I added the top half without stripping off the bottom... and we will put concrete in the balance on Sunday. It will not be easy to get this one done since I have to work between the existing trusses in the garage.
We also poured the bottom part of the column #4 on Tuesday, which matches #3 for height to rock ledge.
On Thursday when I was excavating for #6 (the stair foundation) I dumped three loads of dirt removed from there into #2. I then had Shirley come with a garden hose and I brought several loads of fill dirt that I had stock piled and we completely backfilled #2. I doubt there will be much settling as Shirley really soaked it good and I threw in lots of rocks. Does it ever feel good to have that huge excavation backfilled... and we even dressed the top with crusher chips... my favourite road and yard gravel topping.
Again you can see a yellow string at the top of the columns... this is part of the squaring the building exercise. The laser level on the tripod makes finding the correct height of the column pretty easy
The nice pile of gravel in the background will go into foundation #5 and #6... plus the tops of the columns... and then we are done with concrete.
This coming week on September 8 we are scheduled to get delivery of the beams and TGI's. It will be interesting to see if they can be delivered on schedule. Soon or very soon we will be done with concrete and on to bigger and better things... but without a good foundation the rest would be in vain.
I enjoy telling people that this house was built according to the Bible... it has been built on the solid rock! ...and we have cut no corners on the excavation, concrete or steel. So we expect that our new addition is designed to withstand the high winds, heavy snow load and even earthquakes, if they should happen. Fortunately we do not get hurricanes here... even though some days it sure feels like it!
But I did talk to a lady at the stock brokers office this week who said her name was Irene. I jokingly asked her if she got much abuse because of the hurricane last weekend... and she said she sure did... it comes with the territory.