Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Ready to pour walls...almost

Well, they finished the wall forms today. But not without incident. Newt called me this morning, and wanted to know what I wanted to do about the window openings. What do you mean?! Well, the vBucks they sent us, were made for a 6" concrete core, not an 8". So they were basically 2 inches short in their depth. Well, that sucks. Also the place that Newt picked them up from isn't the place that makes them, so he couldn't just go ask them to quickly make some new ones.

We have done a lot to keep wood away from the outside on this house. I love the look of wood, but I don't want the maintenance that it brings with it, in an application where it is exposed to the elements. Or the risk of hidden problems if bugs or water get to it. I really didn't want us to fall back to wood bucks. We talked about the options, and decided that we should be able to use the vBucks, and just add wood as needed to finish out the window framing. As it turns out, Doug the concrete contractor working on my home, is friends with a fellow that Newt was just telling me is one of the most experienced with ICF in the area. Tim who has done a lot of ICF work, hadn't been available for this project, but it turns out that he apparently had some time available this week, so Doug got him to come over. He had some ideas. They attached the vBucks on the outside of the Nudura forms, and then used wood to brace them for the pour, and added a bunch of spray foam to seal up the joints.

Not as clean on the inside as it would have been with the proper vBucks.

There will be wood trim on the inside, so it will cover over this bit of OOPS, anyway. The image above has the guest bedroom window, and the master bedroom window. Here is the hobby room window and garage opening. They have some more bracing to put on the garage opening tomorrow morning.

What a messy floor.

I talked to Newt about all the plastic sheeting that we are going to have, and the foam that is still usable, including the chunks of Nudura that won't be going back to the supplier. Sounds like Jake is going to work through our scrap pile, and move the usable materials off to the side. We won't use the Nudura or the plastic on the house itself, since they may not be completely intact. But we are going to take whatever we can, and use it to add extra insulation extending out from the walls, and shedding water further away from the walls.

Some of the extra foam we had for the underfloor insulation.

We will lay the foam on top of the backfill when we get to the top of the walls, and lay the plastic over the rubber membrane which will be making the roof water proof. The edge of the plastic will go under the drainage layer (which sits on top of the rubber). This will make most of the water that comes off the roof in the drainage layer, keep going out well past the walls, instead of right down them. The drainage system around the bottom of the walls will then have less water to get rid of. This also means we have less waste to haul to a dump. Hey, I paid for it, if I can use it to make the house better than what was designed, I am going to.

From the outside, it is now looking like something other than a hole in the ground.

Guest bedroom window on the left, then front door, then dining room window.

Starting to see what it is going to look like from the front.

From the south east corner.

From the north east

For the amount that will be exposed on the south side, there is quite a bit of window.

Did you notice anything funny in the last two pictures? Take a look at the north wall, and the east wall. They have made every effort to make sure the bottoms of the walls are straight. So when I saw these, I called Newt, and mentioned that it looked like they need to fix the tops of the walls. He explained that they bowed them in on purpose. During the pour, they will get shaken about, and they want them leaning in on the braces. Then once they are done with the pour, they will run a string along each wall to give them a straight line to line up on. They will adjust the braces to push the walls out, while the concrete is still wet, so they are straight. The braces can't really pull the forms in, so they have to make sure they are leaning inward against the braces, before they pour concrete in them.

The other thing that I realized as I left, was that while we have the large holes set up, for the windows and doors, we don't have the small holes cut through the walls for the vents, or the well, or the electrical. Uh, oh! Ok, time to mark up some pictures and talk to Newt. We discussed where the holes will go, and how big. By the time they pour tomorrow, there will be a bunch of 6 inch holes in the back wall, and on the garage wall.

Now a while back, it was mentioned to me, that I should try to put together a set of images to record the progress of the home. Well, I decided to look back through the images tonight, and here is what we have so far...

2009-10-10 Corners surveyed according to my measurements, I don't like where they ended up, so we went back to where I had staked them.

2009-10-21 The morning when they came to look for water

2009-10-31 I have a well, and the trees have lost their leaves

2009-11-12 Digging a big hole

2009-11-17 I have footers, but you can't see them here

2009-11-24 They are busy putting gravel, and drainage into the hole

2009-12-22 Plumbing drains, floor insulation, radiant tubing, and a floor has been poured. We are ready to pour the walls.

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