Posts Tagged ‘backfill foundation’

June 24, The walls begin!

July 7, 2009

After the successful slab pour, I wetted down and covered both house and garage with the tarps and kept them wet for a week.   This was not difficult as the rains came again.  I never seems to stop, the local farmers are complaining about the wet spring and there is standing water in many fields.  Usually by this time of the summer they are complaining about drought.  Farmers always complain :)

A week after the slab pour I started on the first block course above the floor.  The first step was to put a horizontal course of rebar tied to the stubs sticking up from the foundation.   Then I set about placing the first course of blocks, but being exquisitely careful about getting these blocks as perfectly level and plumb as possible. This involved a lot of level use and the judicious modification of blocks whose base was not perfect, with a diamond blade in a right angle grinder. The first course of blocks will be bonded to the foundation with a pour of cement to embed the horizontal rebar, and lock the base course to the foundation.  First was the garage workshop as seen in the pictures below, with details of the rebar placement.    At the same time it was necessary to get the fill in around the foundation in preparation for moving the wall up to full height.   My plan was also to extend the grade from the the driveway  to the entry door of the house, place the sand fill for the floor of the screen porch and the breezeway path to the workshop entry door.   Was going to try and get 4 loads of  fill sand from the driveway into the space between the house and garage, but the dump truck began to sink in so fast once he got on the last layer of sand we only dumped 2 loads off the edge of the driveway in the right direction.

  My neighbor Rick across the back fence, who got a new toy ultimate garden tractor a couple weeks ago  (John Deere 3020  with a front end loader and a grader)  has been itching to move dirt.   So he had at it, and after a few hours the two loads of sand were distributed.    This was interrupted with a short period where he was stuck up to his axles in the soft spot on the south side of the house foundation were the rain runoff accumulated.   He consulted with friends about getting another tractor to pull him out, with limited success.   The the son of my neighbors diagonally across the road, who is a farmer near by, appeared, evaluated the situation and declared  he could pull it out.   Disappeared for 20 minutes and reappeared with another slight larger John Deere,  Rick attached a sturdy chain, and voila he was back on solid ground.   Thereafter he was much more careful about entering the soft area before putting a lot of fill sand in first.  By the time he was done, the back side was filled so the water runs off instead of collecting.

Took a couple days on the weekend to visit my son and family in Toronto, and of course it rained again. Was planning on installment 2 of the sand on Tuesday, but it was actually delivered on Wednesday, Canada Day which I thought was a holiday. It turned out the aggregate company, moved the holiday to Friday for a 3 day weekend, and when I tried to get some cement gravel on Friday afternoon since I had finished leveling and placing the first course, nobody was there. On Monday I was ready for the last sand delivery, called at 7AM had both loads in place by 10:30. Rick the earthmover turned up mid afternoon, and all the sand was in place by 8PM. A busy day with all the fine tuning of the sand fill with rake and shovel, but it is starting to look pretty good, at least to my eye.

June 2, Slab Grading is done!

June 3, 2009

Tuesday morning, finishing breakfast, comtemplating calling the excavator to see if/when they would be coming and I hear a truck on the road.  Look out and see the boys have arrived and I’m the last to know.  Anyway a busy morning, I rushed out and with a little help from the crew peeled back the tarpaulins and they were soon hard at it.    I on the other hand set about cutting the rebar that needed to go into bottom of the forms for masonry stove pad and the great room wall base.   In between putting the needed sand onto the slab grade, Perry loaded stockpiled sand into his dump truck and moved it to locations where he could place it at the worst of the deep trenches around the foundation.    Still need a lot of fill before we reach the desired grade around the South side of the house, but some of the worst places for water pooling are now gone.    Pictures below of the activities of the day.  Grading was complete around 1PM, and I got the crew to give me hand placing the pre-cut welded mesh on the sand bed for tying the pex radiant heat tubing in place.  That is the next step, and it is mostly me, with a little help from the plumbers to  make sure everything is up to code.

Putting more sand on grade and spreading it out.

Putting more sand on grade and spreading it out.

The shovel and rake crew spreading the sand, and checking for depth.

The shovel and rake crew spreading the sand, and checking for depth.

Working on the garage floor.

Working on the garage floor.

Putting fill between the house and garage foundations.

Putting fill between the house and garage foundations.

Reinforcing steel mesh in place on the house slab pad.

Reinforcing steel mesh in place on the house slab pad.

Looking from house to garage, fill in place and mesh down.

Looking from house to garage, fill in place and mesh down.

Looking from the machinery room in the house foundation, the sand piles are gone.

Looking from the machinery room in the house foundation, the sand piles are gone.

May 22, Real work begins: Plumbers and sand

May 22, 2009

After waiting and waiting…… Finally the planets aligned.   Or more exactly the weather and the plumbing contractor were on the same page.    My excavator is having troubles with his dump truck, so he recommended I go straight to the gravel pit and order a bunch of fill sand for the the remaining buildup that needs be done around the foundation, and to eliminate the mud pits when it rains.    So I had called in the order to the Johnston Bros for sand, and last night they warned me the truck would appear shortly after 7AM, and yesterday afternoon the CPE Inc guys showed up to reconnoiter and inform me they were arriving first thing in the morning as well.   So sure enough it was a productive day.  The pipes are in the sand, and inspected, and I have 5 Triaxle loads of sand deposited on site.

More sand!

More sand!

The crew plotting their strategy

The crew plotting their strategy

Working on the network of drains for kitchen and bathrooms

Working on the network of drains for kitchen and bathrooms

Digging in the drains in the machinery room floor in the house.

Digging in the drains in the machinery room floor in the house.

Last load of sand arriving on the driveway

Last load of sand arriving on the driveway

Nearly done, all the pipes sticking up for the various connections in the Master Bathroom.

Nearly done, all the pipes sticking up for the various connections in the Master Bathroom.

The finished pipes in the workshop bathroom.

The finished pipes in the workshop bathroom.

Kelly putting the sand back in place after the inspection.

Kelly putting the sand back in place after the inspection.

Spring has Sprung! Driveway Progress

May 6, 2009

Well it has been a long snowy/wet winter, and a very wet Spring, but finally things have sort of dried out. In a brief dry spell a couple weeks back, I had my excavator put in a catch-basin and a length of 4 inch pipe connecting it to the storm drain. This was in anticipation of the driveway being built, and obstruction of drainage from the north side of the lot to the storm drain, and from there to Haggerty Creek. After that event however the monsoons decended again and I was feeling like Noah in the rising waters. I was able to borrow a sump pump and have been pumping out the trenches around the partially back-filled foundation to speed the drying process.

The new catch-basin.

The new catch-basin.

Looking from the driveway to the storm drain.

Looking from the driveway to the storm drain.

The driveway and parking pad involved the 4 triaxle dump truck loads of sand, graded to an even slope to the front of the garage/workshop foundation.

Spreading the sand before compacting.

Spreading the sand before compacting.

The first two loads of sand were placed on Monday, and the rest of the work finished on Tuesday.

Compacted sand with "driveway fabric" in place

Compacted sand with "driveway fabric" in place

Now ready for the gravel on top.

Dumping the gravel at the front of the driveway.

Dumping the gravel at the front of the driveway.

Then carefully spread, and compacted.

Spreading the "B" gravel on top of the "driveway fabric"

Spreading the "B" gravel on top of the "driveway fabric"

Finally it is done. Now settle for a while before the final gravel layer gets placed.

The finished compacted gravel driveway.

The finished compacted gravel driveway.

More foundation details

October 27, 2008

As I was telling Mike Noe my plumbing/electrical contractor of my plans to have the slab poured before shutting down construction for the winter, he suggested that maybe I should stop before finishing the slab. He has seen some horror stories with unprotected slabs not completely cured either cracking from frost heave, or spalling the surface. After consulting with my cement contractor, this impression was confirmed, so that is now the plan; do everything up to the final layer with reinforcing steel and hydronic heating tubes in the Fall cover with tarps, and start up from there in the Spring.

Anyway Fall is definitely here!

Autumn has arrived

Autumn has arrived

The first step was to stockpile sand for bacfilling the foundations. My excavator had mechanical problems with his dump truck, so we had the Johnston Brothers aggregate suppliers deliver 10 triaxle truck loads of media fill sand to the site.

Piles of sand for filling foundation

Piles of sand for filling foundation

More sand!

More sand!

Part of this process required that the foundation walls be sprayed with 3 inches of urethane foam insulation. On Monday October 20 the guys from Space Age Insulation called to say they were coming and I had to scramble to get large enough portable generator to power their gear. This involved some phone calls and then a trip to London to pick it up. Then more problems since I had to have a special hitch to pull it. so had to spend more money. Then just make things more complicated, the plug was not a match, and when we jury rigged it, the startup current on the generator was more than it could deliver. Anyway lots of adrenaline and then no success. So they went off to another job, and promised to come back next day with a generator of their own. However, it rained all night and Tuesday was rainy and very windy so no go. Wednesday the weather was good, they came and John and Rick finished the job by lunch time. Fortunately, the rental agency returned my rental fee, and I was able to return the special hitch to Princess Auto for a refund, so just a wasted day of driving back and forth and sweating bullets :)

Rick spraying the foam on the foundation wall.

Rick spraying the foam on the foundation wall.

Finished foam on the south wall

Finished foam on the south wall

The Insulation Guys gear

The Insulation Guys gear

John Greenwood of Space Age Insulation

John Greenwood of Space Age Insulation

Now I am playing the waiting game for my excavator and my cement finishing crew to schedule time to back fill the foundation. They are heavily scheduled and weather has not been co-operating. I have decided to bite the bullet and have a “hydro” connection installed so have been consulting with Mike Noe to set things up so as to do only one connect and place things on “virtual walls” which will have real walls assembled to replace them. I was working at the “wall” that will support the meter box on Sunday (Oct 26) when dark clouds drifted in. I began to put things away, and the thunder and lightning began to rage and we then had a combination of hail and rain, actually quite a bit of both. When things clear off and it had a little time to settle the resulting picture is as below

Hail and leaves that came down with its impact.

Hail and leaves that came down with its impact.

Hail coating the topsoil piles

Hail coating the topsoil piles

Sugar coating on the piles of sand.

Sugar coating on the piles of sand.

I left voicemail with my excavator on Sunday, hoping it might spur some activity, but no response on Monday the 26th. Was up doing breakfast and considering calling him again on Tuesday morning and hear a truck pull up. There he was with his gear, and announced that the cement finisher’s crew would be arriving at 11 and we would do the back filling. Because of the nasty weather, I had delayed doing the final work on the “virtual walls” since the place I had to stand and work was an ankle deep puddle left from the Sunday storm. So now I was in a panic to get the props in place for the hydro hookup. The electrician was also alerted since they needed the backhoe to help with the final placement of the conduits for the underground electrical connection. Anyway it was a madcap day. Lots of sand transferred into the foundations, I got the supports up for the electrical and it was all packed and ready for the insulation layer which I had picked up from the McNaughton’s Bldg. Supply while they were filling and packing the sand. It was a cold windy day, and when they crew got word that the job they expected to go to on Wednesday had been postponed they quit “early” at 4PM. It was really awfully windy to put down the foam sheets, so we planned to start up early.

Filling, leveling and packing sand in house foundation.

Filling, leveling and packing sand in house foundation.

Support for the meter panel on the garage foundation.

Support for the meter panel on the garage foundation.

Starting to fill the garage foundation.

Starting to fill the garage foundation.

Loading insulation packages into the packed garage foundation.

Loading insulation packages into the packed garage foundation.

The disappearing sand piles, and backfilled clay soil on outside of house foundation.

The disappearing sand piles, and backfilled clay soil on outside of house foundation.

Wednesday moring dawned cold and raw, but with a bit less wind than Tuesday. Work started about 8:30AM and the garage was first with the insulation. It was to be a day of much progress, the electricians arrived in the afternoon, and the big excitement was digging up and cutting the telephone lines on the other side of the road. The Bell guy had to come and patch them back together, but it all ended well with the wires in place for attachement and ready for the ESA inspection next Tuesday and then to have power hooked up. It was another cold raw day, but only 15 miles to the east there were snow flurries, and in London only 35 miles further east they had 6 inches of snow and massive traffic problems with cars and trucks off the road etc. Its nice to be in the “banana belt”

The first sand put on top of the insulation layer in the garage foundation.

The first sand put on top of the insulation layer in the garage foundation.

Continuing filling and packing the final layer of sand in the garage foundation.

Continuing filling and packing the final layer of sand in the garage foundation.

The house foundation filled to the insulation level.

The house foundation filled to the insulation level.

Insulation almost all in place in house foundation.

Insulation almost all in place in house foundation.

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Packing the sand on top of the insulation in the house foundation.

Packing the sand on top of the insulation in the house foundation.

House foundation finished to the level where plumbing and  slab components are installed.

House foundation finished to the level where plumbing and slab components are installed.

Backfilling along the south wall of the house foundation.

Backfilling along the south wall of the house foundation.

Backfilling between the house and garage foundations.

Backfilling between the house and garage foundations.

Fill complete and electrical service connections on garage foundation.

Fill complete and electrical service connections on garage foundation.

Finished electrical panel enclosure.

Finished electrical panel enclosure.

Fill complete on the  soutwest corner of the house foundation.

Fill complete on the soutwest corner of the house foundation.


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