Please Release Me



Today we removed the remaining concrete forms around the perimeter of the three big retaining wall arches.


Jeff made the comment that we seem to have built more parts to this house that we later tear down, than the whole structure itself.


David stopped by with his plasma cutter and removed the section of arched steel I-Beam that came through the center of the North entrance.  This part of the steel support was there to help keep the shape of the curve for the concrete but needed to be cut out afterwards.




We left a bit sticking down, (something sturdy to hang the mistletoe from?) but will probably cut it flush with the shell once all the foam is removed. It was amazing how much the space opened up without that extra steel.


The other big task for the day was to start removing the two layers of 1 inch foam board.pastedGraphic_3.pdf




The first layer of foam was removed and in the sections adjoining the South, East & West openings, we removed the second layer next to the concrete.  This was no easy task as the foam was stuck to the concrete and took a lot of scraping to get it off. Thank you Jody, David, Meredith, Therese,  Jennifer, Matt, Dave, Nolle, Karen and Beckett for all your help, especially with the cleanup. Beckett practiced karate on some of the foam board so it would fit better in the bags.




A Shell Is Born

My Computer is now up and running so I have been able to update our site.


Here’s the story:


Wednesday, September 22, 2010  was a pretty good work day.  The crew from East/West concrete out of Eugene arrived on time as did the pump truck from Ottis. They were all set up and ready to go by 9 am however the first load of concrete was a bit late. They did manage to get 5 loads of shotcrete on our house. That’s 30 yards of shotcrete which just about covered half our house. Then it was quitting time. The pumper guy and two of the concrete crew  went home. The boss and one of his workers camped out. We had a nice fire in the fire pit and shared wine and stories.


The next morning at around 5:30, we were rudely woken to the sound of rain pelting the top of our trailer. I though Oh (H, E, Double Toothpicks!), we are going to have to cancel the work for the day. But by 7:am the rain had subsided and looked like it might clear up. We made the decision to forge ahead and the first concrete truck arrived at 9:14. By the time the crew had most of that load on the house the rain had started up again. We could not continue but the second truck was waiting at the bottom of the hill so we had to go for it. Unfortunately, our driveway was wet and slippery and the second truck got stuck three quarters of the way up the driveway. It took nearly 3 hours to get the truck unstuck It nearly slid over the edge of our hill several times. Meanwhile we had a bunch of guys making $100/ per hour standing around twittling their thumbs stuck at the top of the hill. They had to just dump the 6 yards of concrete of the side of our driveway.  And as if were not enough of a glorious day for us, when I was using Dozy, our little bulldozer, to spread the quickly hardening concrete, something major broke and stranded Dozy in the middle of our driveway.  By the time we nearly burned out the clutch on our Subaru dragging it off to the side of our drive I said to Jeff that this was pretty much the worse day EVER!


Now nine days have passed, Saturday, October 2nd, a broken Dozy up on a trailer and out of the way, the concrete crew is back.  Thirty-two yards of shotcrete later, we have a completed shell.  It was a long day but we were so happy to have it all done.