Saturday, June 1, 2013
One wall almost done
Unfortunately, it's only the shortest one. Still, it represents about 15% of the foundation work, since Thursday. At this rate, we'll get there in about three weeks.
I hope to get it done a little sooner than that, because a) the rental mixer costs money, and b) I don't enjoy foundation work as much as I enjoy framing, and c) the weather has been ridiculously hot, considering it was still May until yesterday. I've been starting at 5 or 6 am just to get a few hours of cool weather before my head explodes from the heat.
I can't work much past noon if it's 90 degrees out there. This building site is a heat trap in the morning and early afternoon. Only after about 1.30 am does it begin to be shaded. Long before then I've usually exhausted myself, and have to quit before I make stupid mistakes.
Luckily a cold front will blast through tomorrow afternoon, which should about double my effective working day.
This blockwork foundation has a very variable footing. In places the footing is about a foot or more deep, in other places only six inches, to accommodate the ups and downs of the rock shelf that it sits on. Every inch rests on solid rock, though, to which the concrete bonds very well, so it's not going anywhere. I haven't had to pin it much because there were so many little troughs and ridges to act as keyways. I just ran a piece of rebar through laterally, bending it over the ridges and down into the troughs.
Later on we'll be out of the trench and on slightly sloping rock. There we'll need to put in a lot of pins.
The hard part is getting the footing to the right level so the height of the block ends up on the string. Once you start with the block, your height flexibility is virtually nil, so you have to get the footing height just right.