Thursday, November 30, 2006

Porches done, driveway apron tomorrow

I spoke with our builder this morning and he's planning on the following schedule right now:

Today: Prepping for one more concrete pour tomorrow (driveway apron), maybe start framing the walls.
Tomorrow: Placing concrete for driveway apron and more framing. Well driller starts on domestic water well, I think.

He doubts he will have any walls "tilted up" by the weekend (putting framing together on the ground first), but all the concrete except for sidewalks should be done by tomorrow. He said the weather is holding up great for concrete so he wanted to get the apron done to help keep mud from getting tracked everywhere once the rains hit and they are working on plumbing, electrical, etc. The apron is going to be the same length as the garage (43 feet) and extend out 20 feet in width. That will put the apron right at the edge of the aggregate driveway we have right now.

He will probably be tilting up at least some of the walls next week by the sound of it.

He figures he's got about 135+/- yards of concrete placed after tomorrow's pour. That will increase significantly once the sidewalks are added in the spring.

I took a closer look at the house slab today and saw only 2 cracks in the entire slab. Both were approximately hairline in nature and occurred in re-entrant corners, very common locations for these to occur. Given the size of the slab and lack of control joints (not put into residential floor slabs), I was impressed!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Floor slab is complete - porches next

Well, the concrete was placed last Monday (Nov 20th) and the results look great. Nice cool weather and humidity were good curing conditions and with the fibermesh reinforcement, I didn't see one crack out there today, just some slight surface "crazing".

Edit - sorry for the somewhat "jerky" picture - the photo stitch software seems to have a bit of a problem with the photos used for some reason.

It looks like they are now preparing to place the concrete for the front and rear covered porches/patios (necessary to do now because the columns in them are structural in nature - they support the roof). I will call the builder tomorrow to check on his schedule. I know the exterior walkways/sidewalks are going to wait until the spring when they won't be damaged during construction activities.

Edit - I called him and the front porch concrete will be placed Tuesday and the rear porch Wednesday - framing lumber to start being delivered as well.

They didn't put sand down over the 15-mil Stegowrap before placing concrete and given the weather conditions and slab/footing construction method, I agree with the decision. Good curing conditions (weather) and a slab placed integrally with the footings (instead of a two-step pour) means the chances of curling are minimal. Curling is one of the main reasons sand is used under the slab, it helps speed curing of the bottom of the slab and protects the vapor barrier from damage.

In using Stegowrap, the vapor barrier material is so durable that protection wasn't required.

Also, the use of sand can be detrimental to a nice, uniform thickness slab without defects, as it gets pushed around and tracked into the concrete during placement.

The time-lapse photo camera seems to be performing well - I wonder if a momentary power glitch caused the problems with not all the photos being taken a couple weeks ago.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ready for concrete

Well, we are ready for concrete. Stego Wrap is down and the sand cover should be placed tomorrow. Concrete will be here on Monday.

Unfortunately, we will be in Missouri at the time, so I hope the camera is working OK.

We are not going to be using welded wire mesh in the slabs as that is rarely placed correctly and seldom does any good wherever it ends up. We are going to use fibermesh ( instead. We used this for our back patio where we live now and there isn't a crack to be found.

Looks like the weather is perfect for concrete placement as well, with temps in the 60's and cloudy weather.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Drains are in

All the drain lines have been installed and are ready for pressure-testing today.

After the test, the trenches the lines are in will be backfilled with sand and he can start placing baserock (capillary break), vapor barrier, and the thin sand layer in preparation for concrete placement.

We are using Stego Wrap ( instead of visqueen due to it's superior strength and vapor blocking capabilities. This is a first for our builder, and he thinks he might start using it on all of his future projects. I need to double check and make sure he's going to be placing it in the garage as well to help prevent efflorescence.

He may be placing concrete on Monday for the house and garage slabs.

Our family is going out of town for Thanksgiving week, so I will miss part of the fun.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Our builder has started putting in the drain lines. He's trying to button up the other house he's finishing, but needs the tile and flooring guys to

get their stuff completed. We haven't had a lot of rain (just some more light sprinkles today, mostly), but too much of the wet stuff will start causing problems unless the concrete is placed. Still not quite to that point, obviously....

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Forms are going up

Stopped by our site this evening and the forms for the foundation are partially installed. Too dark for pictures, unfortunately.

I am having some trouble with the digital camera I set up for the time-lapse photos. It only took about 5 photos out of 100 this week (the first 5 scheduled). I don't know why. I tried to turn off the flash before setting up the camera last time, so I wonder if that had something to do with it, but I'm not sure it would....

Bah. Why can't things just work as advertised?

Friday, November 03, 2006

We have broken ground

The backhoe guy did his thing (at least for now) and trenched for the septic drain line inside the house as well as the footings. The first photo is looking at the front of the house (looking west). The second photo shows the back of the house (looking northeast). We also have 3 fair-sized piles of trench spoils I wasn't anticipating (which I was standing on to get these pictures) - but I think this might give us a little landscaping material. Maybe a couple small hills/berms to add a little variety?

Sounds like the builder has a couple more days left doing touch-up work at the house he's finishing up and he's ready to work on ours full-time. He'll hopefully be done there early next week.

The little rain we've had the past couple days has been perfect to moisten up the ground without causing problems.

The SMUD gal showed up on Wednesday and marked out locations for a pole across the street as well as a pole on our property for service to our house. Let's see if they actually go in where she marked them....