Construction, Day 22: Prepping for Concrete

Grading, compacting, digging more holes.

On Monday, the builders worked mostly inside the building shell, prepping for the concrete pour. They had a number of tasks to perform.

First, they needed to grade and compress the gravel pad inside the building. The grading was required for the RV garage, which has a 24-foot drain down the center of it. They needed to not only put the drain I provided into the floor, but to slope the floor toward the drain on all four sides.

The garages were also gently sloped toward their doors. I was told that the slope was too gradual to get water rushing, but if I ever parked inside with a wet or snowy vehicle, the water would eventually find its way out.

They also needed to set forms at the door openings to hold the concrete in. (Other forms would come later.)

Outside the building, they needed to dig four holes for the posts that will eventually hold up my front deck. Those posts had been omitted at the beginning of the project because they did not appear on the original plans. They decided to wait until the concrete delivery to dig the holes and plant them in concrete.

In order to dig those holes, they needed to level the area and compact the soil. That entailed using the bobcat to move a mound of soil where my driveway will eventually go to a low spot under the future deck. This was good for me — it would reduce the amount of earth moving I’d need to get my driveway and outside concrete pad in. They ran yellow caution tape around the area to prevent people from falling into the four-foot deep holes.

Digging Holes
Angel’s crew prepares to dig four more post holes.

In the leveling process, Angel “found” my septic system end pipe. (Oops.) The damage was minimal. I gave him a T-post to mark the spot so no one would run it over in the future. Chances are, it will be slightly relocated anyway when I connect the stub outs to the line.

The crew also had to move a pile of wood and remove the pile of gravel that had been put in front of the RV garage door by the excavator who did the pad preparation. They needed to clear the way for the concrete trucks, which would need to get as close to the building as possible. To get rid of the gravel, they spread it on various parts of my driveway that needed it, which is exactly what I was hoping they’d do.

When they were done and left, the building was completely empty except for a wheel barrow and the plumbing stub outs. They took the bobcat with them.

I didn’t know it then, but it would be three days until I saw a worker again. Angel and the crew started a job up in Winthrop. Angel later told me that they were camping up there and had a party every night. Made me feel a little like I’d let them down by simply providing beverages, cookies, and energy bars every day.

Anyway, here’s Monday’s time-lapse. The RV at the beginning belongs to a friend; gotta love it when overnight guests bring their own house.

What do you think?