The First Pour

July 3rd, 2020

Our first pour was a shit load of concrete. In one day, 10 pump trucks brought in 50 yards of concrete. The first truck arrived around 9AM and rumbled noisily to a halt as it sat idling in front of the house. You've seen those trucks, loaded down with pregnant barrel like drums continuously rotating around and around. This rotation is important; concrete is viscous, abrasive, contains pieces of hard rock, and solidifies if not kept moving.

Several tools are needed to achieve a professional pour. The most interesting of these to me is the concrete vibrator. I'm tempted to make a sex joke there. ;) Whenever you pour concrete, tiny air bubbles form. Depending on the mix and the pour, there can be thousands of these air bubbles. The more air bubbles you have in your concrete, the weaker its structural integrity when it hardens. A concrete vibrator produces stronger concrete by vigorously shaking the concrete right after you pour it to eliminate the air bubbles. It also happens to vibrate the whole house.

Before the pour began, hoses attached to the pump truck were dragged in like deflated, dead tentacles, snaking in and out of the basement. Precisely aligned form boards for the high walls were propped up and held in place by a crisscross of heavy planks giving the basement a chaotic, labyrinthine feel.

As the concrete finally began to spit and spew in a vomit of gritty, grey matter, workers holding the hoses paced around like pent up tigers, creating a balanced, even pour. Other workers took up their positions to vibrate the concrete into place and then rake the viscous compound smoothly on its surface. Our concrete walls were finally going up! Truly, it was a glorious, messy, team effort and a very productive day.

Three days later, I slid my way down into the basement to see the result of the pour. Much to my delight, several floor to ceiling concrete walls now stood stoic, solid, and proud. They are undeniably powerful structures. I never thought concrete could look so beautiful. Only three more pours to go!







Updates

The Permit
March 13th, 2020
The Complaint
March 26th, 2020
The Cave
April 14th, 2020
The Supports
May 1st, 2020
The Rebar
May 21st, 2020
Volunteer Work Day 1
June 7th, 2020
First Inspection
June 29th, 2020
The First Pour
July 3rd, 2020
Volunteer Work Day 2
July 12th, 2020
The Bamboo (fun video)
July 22nd, 2020
Second Inspection
August 15th, 2020
The Second Pour
September 9th, 2020
Volunteer Work Day 3
October 10th, 2020
Volunteer Work Day 4
October 11th, 2020
Volunteer Work Day 5
October 17th, 2020
Video Tour
October 18th, 2020
Volunteer Work Day 6
October 18th, 2020
More Rebar
October 23rd, 2020
The Staircase
October 29th, 2020
The Steel
December 21st, 2020
Final Pour!
March 13th, 2021