The final pour went down on the foundations for our house extension on Friday. It’s been a fraught process and we’re about six weeks behind schedule, due mainly to wet weather and unavailability of the building inspector and concrete contractor at crucial times. Hopefully it will be full steam ahead now.
I took a few videos of the process. The first shows Bruce, our builder, discussing the plan of action with Tony, the concrete contractor, who was was having his breakfast pie on the hoof. Between them and the floor slab will be decking (under a verandah) and the contractors were also concreting in the piles for it.
The large concrete truck backing up our narrow drive. Not an easy fit. No fit at all, actually. I’m glad I was there to stop the driver before he demolished a line of rose bushes. There was room on the other side, though it did mean he seriously squashed the lawn between the concrete and another bit of garden. The lawn (now all compressed mud) is now nearly six inches lower than the garden.
The first pour. I was surprised they didn’t distribute the concrete via a flexible tube, but perhaps it would have delivered more than two workers could cope with. Anyway, they were very efficient with the barrow and the concrete was all laid within a couple of hours. Layers of the floor slab they were working on were (from the top): reinforcing steel, black polyethylene sheeting, polystyrene insulation, compacted sand and general fill. On an earlier pour they had filled in side trenches.
Smoothing out concrete:
The first half laid and smoothed out:
Tony came back about 4.30pm to finish the job off with his power float machine. He did a poor job. Ideally it would have been done the following day, but because they were way behind on their contracts, they decided to do it all in one day and put special quick drying agents in the concrete mix. Starting the float at 4.30pm was too late for winter – it turned dark quite quickly and much of the job was done with Tony wearing a headlamp. The final result was not smooth at all in places and will require serious grinding. Grrrr….
In theory the new concrete slab is exactly level with the floorboards in the hallway behind the green door. They didn’t get that right. The concrete is about 12mm higher now and the gap will be greater by the time vinyl is laid. Bugger! Our builder is going to have to find some way of producing a smooth transition so we don’t have an abrupt change in height to trip over.
The outrigger bit of foundation in the bottom centre will accommodate a hot water cylinder and spare linen cupboard. It was the only place we could find for the cylinder. The present cylinder is in the ceiling but there’s no room up there for our new mains pressure cylinder. Not that we have ever been comfortable with a water cylinder above our heads in this earthquake-prone country.