Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Demolition Complete Time to Start Building



Tarpon fishing in the Caloosahatchee, this photo was taken just a few yards from the entrance to our canal.
When Tarpon are running, the river seems to boil with the small fish running ahead of the schools of Tarpon - suddenly there escape route is cut off by the locks, at times the Tarpon seem to fill the whole area. A hundred pound Tarpon about 5 ft long was taken just down stream by an 11 year old boy.

No fishing to day here we are on the slab of new concrete a couple of weeks have passed since the demolition was finished. A partial wall is up in the rear of the photo and right now the tall
columns on the front are going up. It seemed like it was taking forever, there are four of them, they had to be perfectly level and true. Inside of each one there is a metal re rod form which is wired together.In the base there were several pieces of re rod placed in the slab when it was poured, these were bent over and left a foot or so above slab so that when the column was filled with concrete these anchors and the re rod form in the core would be bound together when the concrete hardened. When the top was finished
and filled with concrete a inch and half steel strap bent like a hook was placed in center with about 18 inches left this would be wrapped around the beams and used to hold it in place so that the trusses would be tied to the slab.

When this project was in the planning stages it was agreed by the man in charge My Son in law. that the 76 year old man was not to climb or do any heavy lifting- his job would be one of micro managing and be a gopher, sounded good to me after ripping down the old house and de-nailing the lumber a little light work would feel good. Guess they did
not notice who was cutting the blocks and lifting them above his head to place them on the scaffolding for them. Perhaps you can see the awning that we had to put up, it wasn't bad in the morning, but by 1 in the afternoon it became rather warm on that concrete slab, and with the walls up you got very little to no breeze. As I recall by 3 in the afternoon the work force seemed to disappear and many days found myself working alone-that is when I got to do that light stuff, sweeping up, lugging out the junk there was always a big pile of debris. It seemed every afternoon there was something we had
to have-a special block or few more bags of mortar, or a tool would
get lost or dropped into a block core. My late afternoon's and evenings were spent at Home Depot or Lowe's-never seemed to be able to anticipate what the next days trip might be. It finally came to pass the walls were up and thankful the columns all of the re rod has been placed in the centers of the blocks and columns, then one day a little mean machine arrived followed by two cement trucks, and this is the day of course that we are short handed- they roll out hundreds of foot of hose, the "mean" machine is hooked up and three of our nearly depleted work force are assigned the hose. the guy at the nozzle has to stick it in the core of the block and fill it, then jump to the next one 12 foot in the air on a 10 inch cement block and this hose is like a python it has a will of its own. The poor guy in the center of the hose is the one who is being yelled at the most, he is supposed to help hold this hose that is caught on everything. Meanwhile the poor fellow on the machine does not know what to do he can not hear a thing with the cement trucks churning there load and his mean machine grinding away he is in constant flux of starting and stopping the flow of cement. When he makes a mistake four inches of wet concrete comes shooting out the nozzle if its not in a bore there is a instant mess with a lot of language your mother would not want to hear. Once the holes are filled the work just begins 36 inch strips of galvanized steel has to be inserted in the filled bore these are left about 18 inches above top so they can be wrapped around the truss and nailed so wind cannot lift the truss. This would be bad enough if you just stuck them in, but they have to be placed in just the right spot so they will line up when the truss is installed.
They are still being pretty good to me, I am still on the ground, figure
the bath room might be my thing the blocks are only half the seize so I spend some time putting this half circle together. While I am back in this spot the rest of the walls are being finished and some of the interior wall studs are going up. These interior walls will help support the trusses when they arrive. Like everything else these studs are bolted to the slab. First when the wall is built a u shaped piece of flat steel is placed over each shoe and up about 18 inches on each stud, guess it was not necessary by code to do each one but the cost was not that much more to do them all, when it comes time to sheet rock you would have to shim out the ones without these straps, I figure if we do them all it should be much stronger. the same thing is done on the top plate so that the entire stud wall is tied together with metal. The days are long, rather than take a half day off to go to laundry mat we built one in-
nothing very fancy but dry, and did save a lot of time, not that we wore a lot of cloths, but this is a pretty dirty job. We had a lot of fun and tried to tackle each challenge with a good feeling.
Without a roof, and it rained every day-my first job in the morning was to sweep the water off the slab. With the walls up and raised areas for the sills it created a lake, no place to leave your tools on the floor. Wife put her time in when she was not at work, no matter how much you cleaned up there was always more to do, she had to have the floor area clean-she was always unhappy with the help, they could see the big things but the dust, dirt and soda cans seemed to be overlooked. Eventually we started to have a lunch break for everyone [that way I kept them on the job] the easy thing was hot dogs or sausages with soda and sweet rolls or donuts, need that extra energy for the balance of the day. Everything is getting to look pretty good.

The walls are up and now ,it is a waiting game. have to wait for inspectors, actually they are pretty good, they will usually come next day after you call. Any way the trusses are ready and will be delivered tomorrow. Now we have to get rid of the junk pile and move what is left of sand. the driveway has to be open in order for the crane to get up next to house. We are in for a couple of exciting days when this part is started. It was bad enough getting the pre-formed headers in for the windows and door ways. That one in the back for the 25 ft sliders was one heavy beam, we used a small crane to set that, sure we will need one for the trusses.

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