Going back to basics – literally!

We have made great strides forward this week in our longterm project to refubish Plas. Part of the 1970s extension needed underpinning as cracks had developed years ago on the back wall, suggesting that the foundations were insufficient. Follwoing consultations with the building engineer, we called in a contractor to dig an trench, and here’s what he found…

…about 6 inches of concrete beneath the building, and the material below that appeared to be soil, and not even compacted soil judging by how easily it was removed.

Its very difficuolt to see from these photos, but the trench was about 2.5 metres long either side of the corner, and Alastair kept on digging down until he scraped rock. Once we heard that glorious sound, we knew we could procede with Plan A. First, we created some shuttering, so that we could direct the wet concrete to the appropriate places (rather than let it fall where it wished)…

…and lowered this carefully into the trench, restraining its fall via a rope paid out from the corner of the roof of the building (thanks to Yvonne’s clever idea). Once it was securely in place, we started mixing quite a lot of concfrete, and then barrowing it into place.

You can see here how we have started putting the concrete into the trench…

…and that we were not only very fortunate in having Yvonne and Julie – our friends who regularly pop over to help – here, but also Charley to give us the benefit of her considerable wisdom and supervisory prowess, captured well in her stance, I feel.

Mike meanwhile had the plumb job of raking out the contrete into position before…

…fixing the rebar (that’s reinforcing bar to you) in position, so that everything is suitably reinforced.

You can see here that we used a shoot for delivering the concrete into the trench (thanks, Julie)…

…and here you can see that Yvonne womanfully worked the mixer whilst Julie barrowed the mixture around.

Here you can see Mike finessing the concrete into place…

…as well as taking delivery of the next batch from Julie,,,

…before declaring the project complete for the day – as storm Arwen was due the following day and we felt it was safer to stay indoors!

We did a few other things last week as well, but this is the really important stuff: now that we have concrete between the building and the rock about 8 feet below, we know the building is stable, and it should be possible for the designer to produce the plans to enable us to progress our work.

I would point out, by the way, that I was working in the concrete gang too – strange how no photos exist of my contribution though….

2 thoughts on “Going back to basics – literally!

  1. I’m sure that the team didn’t let you get away with an easy day Carrier, anyway someone had to take the photographs. You all work so hard, you have great neighboring friends. Hope Arwen doesn’t delay the work too long, we had a smattering of snow overnight, bright and sunny this morning, hope your ankle is bearing up, best wishes all Julie

  2. Great news – things are moving on again. My ankle is getting much better, and my GP has agreed I should call again after Christmas to check whether my knee needs any attention, but as it is getting better daily, am hoping all will be well. Mike and I have had shocking colds this last week – obviously we need to keep further away from Teddy, our grandson! Best wishes to sunny Norfolk from a very windswpet Sonwdonia! All the best, Carrie

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