Well I know I was pumped for today (even if Sid wasn’t): the final concrete pour that would give us the slab for the family room and complete the various remaining stairs and paths that provide access around the house and into the garden. And the concrete, well it would be (pumped that is) first thing this fine Tuesday morning.
James, pumped. One more time with feeling James
The usual mad rush ensued to get all the boxing and steel reinforcing in place. I made myself useful by tying up all the remaining offcuts of D16 steel (the heavy grade stuff) into a mat for the last bit of path at the bottom corner of the house. So much steel did I use in such a small space I can imagine this little corner remaining long after the next earthquake has knocked the rest of the house into a cocked hat.
Little garden stairs and path, ready for concreting
Bigger, lower garden stairs, likewise ready (I love the way they do the boxing for these)
The usual suspects – concrete pumpers and placers (a real rogues gallery) – assembled on site around 7am. Their hawking and cussing joined the dawn chorus when they discovered that the concrete truck was going to be delayed, limping southwards in fits and starts. I tried to imagine a truck dragging along one gammy wheel, though in truth it turned out to be an overheating problem.
The boys seemed to be overheating a bit too, but then, it was a lovely spring morning and they would insist on wearing dark hoodies. When the truck finally arrived –
And you certainly couldn’t miss it
– Tam poked his nose into the gurning barrel. Not good enough. The delay had meant that the concrete was starting to go off. “Be ok with a bit of water?” suggested the driver. Yeah, nah: Tam was having none of it. He sent the truck away and told them to send a fresh batch (remind me never to offer him day old cakes). To do otherwise, he explained, was to risk compromising the strength of the slab, something we certainly didn’t want in a family room where all sorts of rumpus is likely to occur.
Eventually some satisfactory concrete did arrive and everyone relaxed into their tasks (although when this sort of thing is going on I always seem to scurry; I have so much to learn).
Hoody-wearing concrete placer (shot from above to get the best of the hoody)
All hands to the pump, the remote control, and the vibrating thing that helps the concrete settle
Screeding off the garden path
Stan contemplating what sort of wild rumpus the family room floor will be capable of enduring
It has been said that we favour a lot of concrete, and it’s true, we love a good firm path more than most. In this case it feels justified. We get so much damn weather up here that it seems necessary if we’re to get out into the garden at all. And besides (as Tanea keeps reassuring her self out loud) once we get some planting around it it’ll soften the edges a bit.
With the concrete workers busily concreting, Sef and Stan were free to get back onto the real job in hand: laying the ply floor on the top level, the last task before the frames can start to go up. Now this is exciting.
First few sheets
By the day’s end, we had about half the floor down. Tam put up a handrail to prevent people tumbling to their deaths (a good idea given that we’re surrounded by a good deal of concrete) just in time for the family to arrive and marvel.
Maybe we should just retain it as a viewing platform?
Only Sid seemed inoculated against our infectious enthusiasm. He registered a silent protest by leaving a trail of footprints right up the middle of the garden path and a trail of concrete over the carpet.
You can just make out the paw print dimples in the concrete. Extra Rugasol has been applied to try to dissolve them away