Lifting the House A Chronicle of Mayhem and Plunder

Pouring the Foundation

For 2 weeks the crew built forms and poured the foundation, first the footings and then the walls. In all it took 3 truckloads of concrete. Everything went smoothly in spite of occasional rain showers that kept things interesting.

The foundation wall forms consisted of special sheets of thick plywood, with pre-drilled holes with metal reinforcers kind of like washers. Metal rods of some sort were inserted through the holes to hold the sheets in position. I didn't check if these connectors were threaded or fastened in some other way, but they held the sheets a fixed distance apart. After the concrete set, the ends of the fasteners were broken off and the plywood was removed. The fasteners themselves stayed in the concrete.

I thought the concrete pumping operation was pretty impressive. The pumping truck was out in the alley. The mixer trucks backed up to it and slowly poured the concrete into a hopper, from which it was piped through a hose about the size of a firehose. The workers just moved the nozzle along and filled up the form. No wheelbarrows, no shovelling. The pictures don't really give a good idea of how fast the concrete flowed. Once they got going it only took an hour or two to pour all the walls. Then they smoothed the top surfaces and inserted bolts that will hold down the framing. They also poured several slabs under the house, where load-bearing walls will stand.

Today they are stripping off the forms and tomorrow they will start on the framing, which is supposed to take a week. The next step is to set the house back down! These guys have been pretty true to their schedule so far, so we should be back on solid ground by next weekend.

Click to enlarge photos