Friday, October 3, 2008

The foundation is in

Before the foundation crew finished up on Wednesday, they did a quick check for level with a laser level at each corner. Each one was right on. And they hadn't leveled or squared the forms yet. As I understand it, you're really looking for three things in a basement wall system: strong, square, and level. I guess I'd add fourth that's at least as important: accurate. It's pretty amazing how this guys can set up a bunch of 2' x 9' and 2' x 10' forms, fill them with concrete, and have everything come within a fraction of an inch of the plan.

Anyway, the crew spent the first couple hours on Thursday squaring and leveling the forms. They didn't have any trouble getting things level. Great job by the excavator and footing guy.
When they squared it, there was only one problem area: at the front of the garage, where they had trouble getting everything perfectly square with the 10 foot tall forms for 12" thick walls. I believe they got it close, but the carpenter will have to tell me how well they really did. I hope they did well. Unlike the software I'm used to making, there's really no easy way to go back and fix problems with the foundation.

Anyway, when I got to the site, the forms were already squared and leveled, and the conveyer was ready to start.

The conveyer takes concrete from the cement truck, and spits it out where it's needed. It's a bigger machine than it appears to be in the picture above. This picture starts to put in into perspective. The boom has got to be at least 40 or 50 feet long:

At 8:55AM (5 minutes before schedule), the cement trucks started pouring in (pun intended):

and started pouring the cement:

The operator controlled the boom with a remote control. Kind of like playing witha remote controlled car:

The conveyer acts like a vacuum cleaner in reverse, spitting out the concrete through a hose. One crew member guides the hose, directing the concrete between the forms, while others agitate the poured concrete to eliminate air pockets:

After the concrete is poured, the crew levels it off, trowels it smooth, and embeds bolts into the concrete that will secure the stick walls to the foundation:

There were probably at least 15 loads, but I lost count. There were as many as three cement trucks on site at a time. It only took about two hours to pour the concrete. Each truck emptied itself in less than 10 minutes, and there weren't any delays longer than a couple minutes. By about 11:00, the walls were done.

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