-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Step 3: pouring the concrete

Once the steel was in position, the next step was to fill the trenches in with concrete.

The area was way too vast to attempt to do by hand, so we ended up getting readymixed concrete trucked in from Eureka Concrete. Who clearly are great suppliers, not only because they were friendly and reliable, but because they have trucks that look like Tonka toys :-)

Each truck contained 5 cubic metres worth of concrete, and we needed 7m for the short sides and 10m for the long side. We poured a side a day, so each day we had two trucks turn up.

The concrete came out of a big funnel which had a lever so you could direct it. To get it to spread and settle in properly you poked it with a shovel. Then finally to smooth it out you use a little spreader thing, as if you were icing a cake.

concrete in the trenches - 04 concrete in the trenches - 09

The final complication was that our ground was on a slight slope - but the concrete had to be level in order for the brick columns to be built upon. So every so often the guys had to put in little steps in the concrete - this too had to be worked out in advance.

concrete in the trenches - 06

Overall, it took about 20-30 minutes to pour each side, then another 30 mins to do the smoothing. The concrete was hard enough to walk on within a few hours, but to be safe we didn't start building columns on it until the next day after it had been poured.

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