Our foundations are on the move again!

Last Thursday, at 8.39am, the first of our two loads of concrete was ready for off-loading…

…and being guided carefully into place…

…before being redirected by the men in wellies, so that the three cubic metres of concrete filled all the gaps…

…and the top was nicely level.

Obviously, I had to join in the fun, but happily I got a garden rake to play with, which is so much more familiar to me.

Once the first lorry had unloaded, Mike and Niall set to work with their vibrating devices to ensure the air bubbles rose to the top, such that the concrete and metal cage together formed a very strong and consolidated ground beam.

When the second lorry arrived, Mike requested a barrowful – to fill a few light areas – before the lorry set up to offload the next three and a half cubic metres.

This snap is included because I regularly seem to see workmen standing around peering at things, and I am never sure what they are looking at. Here we see just such an event. Obviously they are purposefully and solemnly watching the concrete delivery, not just standing around being unproductive…

…but then they sprang into action, levelling out the concrete again.

By lunchtime, all was levelled and de-aerated, and we were free to move on to other work.

By yesterday, the concrete was fit to walk on. We now have to cut two channels which you can see marked out below. The wider one Mike is working on is to form the foundations for the party wall which will separate the building in two, and the one at right angles will house the main foul drain.

Mike is a wonder on the breaker, whilst my job is to shovel the rubble and barrow it away, leaving Mike free to advance further between the lines.

Yesterday we worked for a couple of hours to remove the first layer of concrete here…

…and the waste was used to fill gaps aroud the concrete beam, as you can see Julie doing below.

Currently, therefore, we are both excited that the ground beam is complete, but still faffing about on the foundations. Once these two channels are finished, I am assured it will be time to start rebuilding, and I have to say I am thoroughly looking forward to it!

We have obtained an up-to-date and frankly eye-watering quote for the steel frame, now significantly more expensive than the quotations from 2020, but we will soon screw our courage to the sticking point and order it, as we will need it the not too distant future.

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