Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rock Solid progress on the addition this week...

Kristin asked me to post about the progress on the footings and foundation walls this week. I'll try to make up for my lack of blogging skills with hard facts, statistics, and interseting technical snippets from my observations...yeah... OK, now on to the pictures...

After work on Wednesday, July 11.....View of footings below basement level which will support the connector walls between the existing house on left and the new garage to the right. A new stairway will go down to the new basement just to the left of the footing.

Over 30 cubic yards of pretty grey 4000 psi concrete were poured to create the 24" wide x 12" deep footings which will keep the new addition steady. The footings sit under the concrete walls of the basement and garage.

The new basement floor will be lower than the existing 1920 & 1972 basements, so part of the soil under the existing footings is now exposed prior to pouring the new reinforced concrete basement walls. New concrete walls will abut and permanently retain the exposed soil under the existing brick & block basement walls. Lucky for us, the house sits on Loess soil of very high bearing capacity. Loess has the ability to be cut vertically for short periods without slumping, as long as it stays dry. If it gets wet, it could lose its strong cohesion and crumble, and eventually turn back into very fine powder. We could not have asked for better weather this summer to dig a basement. Sorry, farmers:  please don't pray for rain until the walls are poured! Loess is actually bedrock that was scraped off and pulverized by glaciers during previous ice ages, the last of which was over 12,000 years ago. As the glaciers melted and receded back north, the fine powdery Loess was washed by massive floods into the river valley, and during dry periods, blown back out in huge dust storms which caused difts up to 300 feet deep on both sides of the river valley. The Loees hills are what makes noTTafarm such a great place to live, but we have to be careful because Loess is highly erodable once it is left exposed.

Looking east at the connector basement.

Friday morning, July 13.....The Rock Solid Poured Walls Co. truck gets ready to unload the aluminum forms

Boom truck sets down the first stack of forms

Looking southeast toward the northwest corner of the new Greatroom basement. The window well walls will go all of the way down below the basment floor level, even though the egress window sills will be at approximately 42" above the floor.

View looking southwest inside the Greatroom basment. I kind of like the way the foms look, maybe they'll let us keep them instead of using plain old boring painted drywall.

View of basement window opening. The wood will ceate a void in the formwork so the concrete will not fill in where the window opening needs to be. Beats cutting the concrete out later, obviously. Note how the inside of the forms have a brick texture which a lot of people prefer over smooth concrete (which is debatable.)

View from basement looking back up at existing house. Remaining forms & racks occupy much of the floor space for now.

Looking East

View down from the existing first floor dining room, soon to become the new kitchen.

The existing walls were covered by the contractor with plastic for protection, in case it rains..... not in the forecast for the next several days but I'll sleep better tonight.
Stay tuned for more progress....they're planning to set up the rest of the forms in the connector and garage areas on Monday and pour the walls on Tuesday ---Scott

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