Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Too hot...

Yesterday record high temperature for Corvallis of 108 deg F [42.2 deg C].

Think it was 39 or 40 deg C today.

Too hot to work outside.

A little cooler tomorrow and next week.

LINK: News story

Monday, July 20, 2009

Concrete & dust

After the concrete cured a bit we needed to cut the expansion joints to stop it cracking and the decorative cuts in the great room to make the finished concrete floor look like tiles.

It took a bit of doing. The concrete sawing is hard hot and dusty work. And in this room, as there were some cuts only 75 mm apart, the measurements need to be spot on so the lines were exactly parallel.Checking the guide board along the chalk line.
Dust dust dust.
The idea is to draw the eye to the big window in the 45 degree corner and the view of Mary's peak.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bastille Day 2009 - We's got concrete

The day before - uncovered, approved by the county, and [almost] ready for the concreteThis years new crop of quail babies are now flying
but maybe not as stylishly as the adults
Bastille Day...

dawned bright and sunny. The lead-up was a succession of at least 14 h days on site, lots of heavy work for both of us, dealing with 35 deg C [95 F] temperatures or unexpected deluges [see previous post], and thankfully with a little help from our friends.

The day before Bastille Day we went from about 6 am to 11 pm and were back on site before the concretors, at about 5 am Tuesday - Bastille Day. We thought we could just sit back and watch the progress; the joke was on us. The immediate prelude to the concrete was a hectic flurry of last minute necessities, we did not seem to stop actually running from one task to the next.
The boss supervising
More running, the concrete pump operator stumbled ["multi tasking" on his cell phone - see photo above] and stepped between the styrofoam forms where there is no structure and fell through leaving a 6 foot by 1 foot hole. This is the emergency shoring we did to plug up the hole. It's the piece of plywood towards the back with the less-than-vertical bracing underneath. I won't go into the details.
Nearly finished.
Facing the porch
Watering down the setting concrete in the setting sun. Some of these floors are going to be finished concrete with a pattern of cuts. We elected to put in the control joints [cuts] ourselves. This meant we needed to keep the concrete wet until we cut them the next day to stop it from cracking. The next day [no pictures - too busy] we cut control joints with a circular saw and diamond blade [see ] for an idea.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Oh ! Lets build a concrete porch in our spare time.

Porch beams almost in - finishing rebar mat on house so we can cover it to spare the PEX from UV while we finish the porch

Working late every night
Soon to be blackberry pie
Getting started on the porch formwork

Meanwhile, my baking class for high school science students diverts me from the house

Porch formwork well into the process

Building the rebar cages for the concrete beams - over-engineeered enough to hold a pugnacious pack of parading pachyderms

And while we rush to get this all done by Tuesday 6 am - on SUnday we get the most rain ever seen here on July day - 0.6 inches official, we got an inch - turned everything back to mud but we had to keep going till 9:30 pm - back at it at 5:45 this morning. Turn on the sound to hear the rain. To make up for the dreary winters here in Western OR it is not supposed to rtain from May 30 to October 30, that's the deal - not this year.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Don't blink !

Seems that we work and not much seems to visibly change and suddenly -

A cow of a job !

Finally finish putting up the waterproofing - it's heavy, the weather was hot, it was hard to hang straight and to stick together, and we were teetering on ladders etc etc etc.

Then no sooner was it up than we covered it with filter mesh to protect it from the drain-rock.
A great day

We finally start to backfill over the perimeter drain... This is the very first drain-rock.
Seeing the last of the bottom of the trench we've been mucking out for @#$%^& months
And the cause of ALL the trouble,

old gopher holes - EVERY cave-in started at one of these
Pea gravel in front of the garage for drainage and to support the garage apron.
E's clever idea to hang the drain fabric separating soil from drain rock over a wall of plywood. Dirt one side rock the other, saved on buying more rock.
Voila !!!
Finished product (well for now - we can only backfill this high yet)
Don't blink.

So I go off to work for a few hours and come back to find a 40 meter by 1.2 meter by 1.2 meter (120 x 4 x 4 feet) trench in the front yard. E had a logistic problem with some deliveries and couldn't do what she'd planned. She had the excavator there and decided to get the utility trench dug.

And now for something completely different.

The rush to get the first floor slab poured is partly to get the PEX tubing out of the sun and UV as soon as possible.

And now it's pressure tested.
It never lets up.

We need to get the porch footings formed and poured as part of the logistics of the first floor slab pour.

So far we've had a string of 12 hour plus days of hard, hot, heavy, and dusty labor so digging the footing pads by hand (me) and setting the formwork (E) is pretty taxing. Thankfully we had some well received volunteer help today, as well as a paid crew.
The mad rush during the pour.
Columns for the porch to rest on.
More of our wildflowers