In the trenches
The last few days have seen lots of progress – unfortunately lots has been for the second or third time.
It finally was dry enough Saturday to finish the sand overfill of the teck cable. As I had a morning back treatment and Saturdays construction hours finish at 5 – it was a shorter day but the work on the cable was complete and both I am my back were happy the sand bucket activities were complete.
Sunday is typically an office day, but my father-in-law had found an opportunity to get a large volume of free wood of longer dimensions. A friend of his was a ‘collector’, but had been ordered by the city of Vancouver to clean up his yard. So I headed off with my trailer and came home with a lot of 2×4, 2×6, 2×8, 2×10, & 2×12 in lengths ranging from 10 – 16ft. I will use these for the supports for the ICF as it goes up as well as the scaffolding needed around the perimeter to allow pouring. Most of the wood had been sitting wet for some time and some surface staining fungi was present. There are also a small qty of pieces with 6″ or so on the end that is rotted and needs to be cut off. But while this would not be suitable to build into a house, it will make excellent scaffold including scaffold planks for the duration of this project. Again, my back was happy when the day was over but at least we survived.
Monday AM, I redid the below footing plumbing pipes. The inspector was generally happy with my work but wanted the 90 elbows at the bottom of the stacks replaced with double 45’s. So I dug up each pipe, redid the elbows, this time added a much longer vertical stub to ensure I was wall above the wall floor plate that would be installed above during framing. I then repositioned and buried the revised assemblies below gravel.
I then started working on the one pad footing I have in the basement (see PDF) and quickly realized that I had screwed up when sketching the footing assemblies in AutoCAD. My drawing package was correct, but for a lot of components, I had drawn up a side view to use for measurements during construction (I am working straight from AutoCAD while at site – not paper drawings – this allows me to get very accurate measurements for all tasks). For some reason I had drawn the pad footing at only 12″ instead of 16″. The problem with making it 16″ was that my newly installed teck cable was only 3″ below, not the needed 4″. I really did not want to have to dig up the teck cable and lower it or relocate it. I was really tired of bucketing sand! Fortunately my engineer (Nathan at Tacoma) saved the day by adding some minor reinforcing bars to the pad so that I could stay at the 12″ depth. I was so relieved. As I started to prepare the raised gravel beds for the strip footings on each side of the pad, I also realized I had drawn the strip footings at only 6″ instead of 8″ (not sure what I was thinking the day I original drew these sketches). SO this meant I had to rake 2″ off the raised gravel beds I had previously prepared. But this was for another day. I ended the day off by finishing the rigid foam box that will act as the stay in place form work for the pad footing.
Today I started the day raking 2″ off the gravel pad to the south of the pad footing and then built the rigid foam form for the strip footing. I am using XPS (see why) rigid foam below the slabs and also will be wrapping the internal footings to prevent a thermal bridge. Based on the engineer’s calcs, I needed a 60 PSI material for below the footings and am using Owens Corning™ FOAMULAR® 600. You can use any strength for below the floor slab and I will be using Foamular 200 which is a 20 PSI product. I am also using the 200 for the sides of the footing forms. I finished the strip footing form to the south of the pad footing and then started on the north strip footing. This is about the time I realized my footing height screw-up also meant my plumbing pipes would be too high. So for the third time, these were dug up, and now I had to actually trench into virgin soil to get them deep enough to clear the footings and insulation below the footing. At that point, my neighbor called me for lunch and I was thrilled. After lunch I finished dropping two of the pipes and laying out the bottom of the foam box for the north half of the strip footing. I was thrilled when the hole I cut for the downstairs bathroom lavatory stack fit perfectly over the installed pipe. I will have some picks of all of this in the next post.
Tomorrow I hope to finish the current strip footing and then also complete the strip footing to the west leaving only the short (and straight) strip footing off the garage wall to complete.
Thanks for visiting.
Leave a Reply