Construction, Day 2: The Poles Go In

I cannot believe how quickly this happened.

The workers arrived at 7 AM sharp yesterday morning and got right to work. Within 30 minutes, two poles had been placed.

First Posts Planted
These guys didn’t waste any time. Within 30 minutes, the first two posts had been planted.

On May 20, 2014, I began blogging about the construction of my new home in Malaga, WA. You can read all of these posts — and see the time-lapse movies that go with them — by clicking the new home construction tag.

I was writing yesterday’s blog post in my RV and happened to glance out my office window. What I saw blew me away. I couldn’t believe how quickly the poles went in. At one point, I think they were averaging 10-15 minutes per pole.

My building will be one story tall on one side and two stories on the other side. The two-story side has some seriously long poles — 32 feet, according to Angel (the worker foreman). Apparently, that’s among the tallest the company usually does.

Hoisting with a Crane
The long posts were hoisted with a crane.

Of course, the chances of four workers being able to hoist a 32-foot long 8×8 post are slim. I was just wondering how they’d lift the long poles when the boss, Corey, showed up. With a crane.

The pace slowed down a bit, but still moved along at a good clip. By 2 PM, they were almost done placing poles. That’s when the Chelan County building inspector showed up. (Yes, I had my first inspection on the second day of construction.) He chatted with me and Corey and went through the plans, asking a few questions. Then he looked into all the holes and at all the poles suspended over the hole bottoms. In the end, he signed off on something Corey gave him.

He was still in the driveway when another truckload of lumber arrived. I scooted him out and then rearranged my vehicles to make room for the lumber on the RV side of the driveway. The other side was getting very crowded.

More Lumber Delivered
More lumber arrived in early afternoon.

Pouring Concrete

They used a concrete caddy to shuttle loads of concrete to the post bases.

When he was finished, the first cement mixer arrived. Corey wasn’t too happy. He was done with the crane and had been hoping to get it out before they poured concrete around the pole bases. (My driveway is rather long and very narrow; just one vehicle at a time.) They used a concrete caddy on the bobcat to shuttle loads of concrete out to the poles on the south end.

Cement Mixer at Jobsite
The first cement mixer at the job site.

Concrete around Posts
A post with concrete at its base.

The second truckload was already waiting when the first finished. Corey chased the first truck out with the crane and the second truck came in. They filled in the rest of the holes and topped off the first ones.

By 4 PM, they’d erected all 40 posts and poured concrete around the post bases. I’m not sure whether they can start framing today or if they have to wait for the concrete to cure. I guess I’ll find out soon enough.

Want to see it for yourself? Here’s yesterday’s time-lapse. I slowed it down to 15 frames per second; each second of video corresponds to 15 minutes of time.

Next up: framing begins.

14 thoughts on “Construction, Day 2: The Poles Go In

    • John Ridings,
      According to records, the largest Tornado in the Chelan area was an F1 in 1987 that caused 0 injuries and 0 deaths. Chelan, Washington is in Very Low Risk area.

    • Those posts are buried 3 feet into the ground. There’s a foot of concrete beneath them and all around them on all sides. The inspector came by to verify that they meet code. Those poles aren’t going anywhere. In fact, I’d venture to say that my building will be better secured to the ground than most houses.

  1. So much fun to follow along and see this all happen, Maria. I love the time-lapse video, too.

    So, so glad this is moving forward now. Yay!!! :-)

  2. Really, John? I think those poles go down really deep and are set in a whole lot of concrete. No way those poles would ever come out of the ground… a tornado would hit the building (there are none in this area) and strip off the building and leave the poles sticking straight up…in my opinion…

    • I think you’re right about that. Those poles aren’t going anywhere — the skin of the building is another story. And since they’re either 6×8 or 8×8 in size, they’re not likely to snap, either.

What do you think?