Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Taste of Mexico

Yesterday I finished up building the forms for the new bit o' foundation, then 'Mixmaster K' and I mixed and placed 7.5 bags of concrete into them. Given how things were partly tucked under the existing house and set on top of the existing foundation, it was the most complicated wooden concrete form I've ever built. (The foundation for the addition was larger and on a slope, but considerably easier to build because I used ICFs.) It also made it very difficult to fill. It gave Katarina a small taste of what RLC's mission trips to Mexico are like. Except it was 1/2 a day of mixing, not 1.5 days, and we had a flush toilet and running water just inside the door. But it did give her an idea of just how back-breaking mixing concrete by hand is. Fortunately the kids have lots of energy and enthusiasm, and the older ones who have been on a trip or two quickly teach the new ones to pace themselves. So 11'x22'x4" (plus a bit for footing around the edge) gets mixed by hand in a remarkably short amount of time.

The foundation under the new floor joists was the hardest to fill. I had to get in under the house with a piece of plywood to serve as a hawk, and shove it in bit by bit. But the whole thing went pretty quickly with Katarina's help.

Today after church I pulled off the forms, and our handiwork looks pretty good. I still need to pull out some bits of 2x2 (under the new rim joist in front of me in the picture), where part of the new (pressure treated, thankyouverymuch) sill plate will sit under the new joists. And there's lots more to do before it begins looking like a regular part of the house, but after spending so much time tearing stuff out, it's a relief to be moving forward again.

No comments: