Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Beams:Gone -- Block:Finished [almost] -- Backfill:Started

It was a very, very active construction site this morning. The concrete and block subcontractor, F B Masonry, was on site first thing today to join Dan Deitz and his crew.  They worked together to orchestrate a milestone day.

Today the last of the steel beams was removed from the structure, most of the holes left for beam access were filled with concrete block, all cribbing made its way out of the basement, and backfilling began.

The last two of the seven north cross beams were the first to go.                                                 
The north main beam was put up on rollers to be removed.
When balanced on two rollers  it was able to move the beam a short distance by hand.

The last steel to come out of the house was the south main beam. It took quite a while to maneuver since it couldn't be pulled straight out of the building. But with three guys, two beam rollers, both end-loaders and the ever-present chain at 11:53 this morning the end of the last piece of steel passed through the foundation wall.

South Main Beam:  11:20 am
South Main Beam: 11:50 AM
South Main Beam: 11:53 AM
South Main Beam: 11:55 AM
Lunch Time
While the Deitz crew wrestled with the beams Fred and his crew fitted block into the openings in walls through which the beams had passed. This was a much slower process than laying the block in new walls... especially the final course that had to be shimmed up to sill level and tuck-pointed into place. A number of holes in the north and west walls were filled as were openings in the chimney support.

Fred is filling one of the openings that were left in the chimney support wall.
Before fitting in the top course of block sill-sealer needed to be stapled into place.
You can see where the beam opening on the left has been filled.
They are working on  the one on the right
The top course is yet to be installed on the north opening of the west wall.
The black waterproofing will be put on these block once the mortar has cured
A month ago the Deitz crew was excavating a hole in which the basement would be constructed. Today they started to fill it in. Sand was moved from the stockpile in the woods to backfill around the foundation.  It was important to get the material moved to the west side of the cottage since once the addition is excavated there will not be a clear path for equipment to reach that side.

Backfill being placed along west wall.
Most of west wall backfill is complete....except where waterproofing still needs  to be applied.
Backfilling was started along the south wall, too.
This part of the site is very tight for the equipment to access.
They will work from both the west and east to reach  the excavation.
It seemed that a lot of sand was moved and dumped into the excavation...but the pile in the woods is still very large.  It looks like we will be left with a good size hill -- as we had requested -- to help block sight and sound from the road.

The reason there is this volume of sand is that we now have about the same volume in available basement space.  When all the steel, the wooden cribbing and much of the block laying stuff was removed, it left a "real basement" for us to use.  Its size is apparent now that it is empty.

Looking at the space from the southwest corner.

Looking at the space from the southeast corner.

Looking at the space from near the northeast corner.
[The old flexible duct will be torn out.]
I was surprised by only one thing today. I had assumed that all the foundation would be complete today -- that all the beam holes would be filled. I was wrong. Two openings remain in the east wall of the foundation.  These were left to allow more easily access for the redi-mix concrete when the basement floor is poured.  They will be filled after that.

East wall foundation will be finished after basement floor is poured.

1 comment:

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