Virginia Northern Neck
-- Foundation walls--
The foundation of our house will be monolithic poured concrete walls instead
of concrete block. As with the foundation, monolithic poured means
the walls will be of poured cement, poured at one time, and all connected into a
single wall. The one exception is the piers in the center of the house
that will support floor beams.
On 23-24 February, a crew of concrete workers set the forms in place for the
concrete foundation walls. After the forms are set, concrete will be
poured into the forms. After 24 hours, the forms will be knocked down and
after 3-5 days, the concrete walls will be ready to start framing the house.
Here are photos from the lot as the crew was setting up the forms.
This is an overall view of the house site -- cold, foggy day. You will
recall from previous pages that we dug trenches throughout the house site,
corresponding to where the foundation walls will be, then, we laid rebar and
poured 18 inches of concrete into these trenches to form
footers that support the foundation walls. Now, we are preparing to
pour the concrete foundation walls. The objects that look like a low wall
are concrete forms -- they are made of aluminum, come in various sizes and
configurations. The form pieces are joined together to make walls as long
and tall as need be. Rebar is laid inside the walls by means of rebar
cradles that fit into the walls -- the rebar and cradles are covered with the
cement and become part of the wall.
This is a photo of the forms that will make the foundation wall
for the front wall and the front porch. Look closely and you will see joints in
the form -- lines where the sections of the form come together. The holes
in the top of the forms are where locking pins would be set if a form is to be
set on top of another form. Note the steel pieces marked with the
-- these are the rebar cradles that are inserted into the form.
If you look very closely you can make out long pieces of rebar running through
the form. There are three sets of rebar -- one set about 8 inches above
the footer, at the bottom of the form; one set through the middle of the form;
and, the third set lying on the cradles near the top of the form.
This photo shows forms for the piers that will be in the center of the house,
supporting the floor. The piers are formed with smaller form pieces. Also,
in this photo, if you look at the forms that are in the front of the photo you
clearly see the joints between form sections. They are held together with
locking pins that are driven in with a hammer, thereby holding the form tightly
And -- in case you have not noticed -- THIS IS HARD, DIRTY WORK. The
aluminum form sections are used and reused and are covered with dirt and old
concrete -- they must be carried, hit with hammers to knock off dried concrete,
set in place and locked. Rebar must be bent to go around corners and laid
into the forms. All this is done in the trenches with the footers and on
the bare dirt -- mud, in this case -- of the house site. All members of
the crew doing this work are Hispanic gentlemen. Most of them speak very
little English. The foreman, also Hispanic, speaks and reads English well
-- he has to because he has a copy of the house plans and it's up to him to set
the forms the correct distances apart, make certain the corners are square and
the forms are level and straight.
I will not be on the site when the concrete is poured, thus, the next photos
will be of the finished foundation walls.
Update 28 February 2008: Foundation walls and piers were poured on 25
February. Follow this link to
pages with photos of the foundation being prepared for the house to be built.