Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Warm weather, finally

Now that the weather has decided to warm up, we "got to" spend our whole Saturday at the land working. The temperature was very nice and the sun even went behind the clouds to cool us off a bit. The task we are working on now is filling all the cells of the cinder blocks with concrete. This just makes sure the wall is strong enough to withstand the compaction of the sand and/or gravel that fills our foundation. The greater the height of the wall, the more force gets applied to it from the fill. Thus, it needs to be very strong, especially on the back wall(more info on the what and why we are filling it in a previous post).

Because we are not made of money, and because it cost a lot of money to have a concrete truck come out and mix and pour concrete all in a matter of minutes(into said blocks), we are mixing ours by hand and pouring it by hand(this takes several, nonconsecutive days).

The system we worked out requires 3 workers. One to mix concrete constantly(Matt's dad, Mike), one to pour concrete constantly(Me and Matt's mom taking shifts), and one to work the concrete to get the air pockets out and run the wheel barrow back and forth getting refills(Matt because he's the only one who can walk around on the wall like it's nothing and also push the wheelbarrow full of concrete without spilling). Of course, you can do this with as few as 1 worker, but 3 works well.

The back wall is made of 12 inch cinder block(as apposed to 8 in standard). Those cells are twice as big as the cells on the side walls. Each one takes 1.5 batches of concrete to fill. That is a lot of mixing and a lot of scooping.

Here me on the wall. I couldn't get myself the stand. Every time I tried I would start to feel dizzy. It's not that high, but there is nothing soft to land on if I were to fall and nothing level to jump on if I had to jump. You can't tell from this photo but there is a tiny ditch next to the block and on the other side of the wall there is some low scaffolding and another ditch. I did not feel safe up there.

The back wall is 2.5 cells from completion. We would have stayed to finish, but Matt had to get home to cut the grass before dark because we were having family over for Easter.

There was a little lizard living in one of the cells. I was worried we would dump concrete on him, so I kept trying to "chase him" with my hand, further away from where we were working. Then he ran down into a cell. I sure hope he got out before the concrete came down on him.

If you've been reading my blog, I'm sure by now you are so sick of seeing a concrete wall. Let me tell you something. If YOU are sick of seeing nothing but a concrete wall, how do you think WE feel? I am so over this stage. The next construction update better be the fill and concrete slab. See you then.

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