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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 2/16/2010

It seems like just yesterday that we achieved our first-floor milestone, and now here we are with the second floor successfully poured! Amazing.

The second floor has been mostly stacked for the last couple of days, but we kept having to move the pour due to weather and finalization of some of the bracing. We were worried about the weather for today--we've gotten a fair amount of snowfall in the last couple of days and I was frankly skeptical that we'd had enough sunlight and warmer (mid-40s) weather to melt off enough of it, but as it worked out today was practically perfect pouring weather.

Colleen and Builder Dale got to Tanglewood bright and early to do a final inspection, and some of the crew came up shortly thereafter to double-check their bracing and such. This pour was a bit different from the previous ones, as to date we've always done "partial" pours--the foundation, and then a couple of feet up the first wall, and then the rest of the first floor wall, etc. This time rather than do two or three feet at a shot, though, the plan was to pour the entire second floor wall plus the deck crenelations--8 feet of ICF stacked up to about 20' above ground level. Everybody was worried that trying to pour this much in one swell foop might be too much if there were any weak spots or places that needed bracing, so the crew had braced the heck out of everything. It turned out to be a good idea, as there were literally no problems whatsoever with any part of the pour--no leaks, no bulges, no funky settling.

A total of 8 trucks came up today for a grand total of some 64 cubic yards, more or less. We did not have the bit on the second floor LiteDeck that had been missed a couple of weeks back done, since that would need to be finished and it didn't make sense to have a finishing crew up just for that. We'll have that part finished (it will probably be about a half of a cubic yard) when we have the first floor poured a couple of months from now (that's a guess). The pour went extremely smoothly, starting at about 0900 and finishing just after noon. As the mud was setting up, the crew inserted anchor bolts for later attaching of the sill plates for the roof transition, thumped the walls to make sure there were no voids in the concrete, and checked all of the various patches for any leaks. All went well.

Since things went so well and there were no problems to speak of, the plan now is to have the roofing company begin bringing up trusses and whatnot tomorrow--the ICFs will cure quite nicely overnight, and while they won't be at full strength for another week or so, they'll be more than solid enough to begin tying sill plates and whatnot to. There's another bout of weather predicted to be coming in later this week, so we hope to have most if not all of the roofing parts on site before things get messy again.

Fewer pictures this time since (honestly) it went so smoothly. Colleen was able to get a couple of movies of the fun, but mostly she was busy helping guide the concrete trucks in and out, since things were moving relatively quickly.

I haven't been up to the site since a couple of days ago and won't be up until this weekend, but it's amazing to think it's come so far so fast. I mean, our first pour was only back in December!!!!

This must be what all house-building is like, when it's going well--and boy is it fun!

Steven in Colorado Springs


The pump (yellow) arrived just ahead of the first truck. Note the snow covering everything; by the end of the day much of this had melted away. In the distance, you can see our work trailer, a couple of sheds, and the picnic/fire-ring area.
The crew snaked the concrete hose through the (eventual) front door of the living room.
The deck crenelations await the pour. These are on the uphill side of the deck. Note how they've stubbed out the gaps with pretty much whatever they had handy, mostly wood but sometimes leftover bits of VBUCK.
The other half of the deck and crenelations... this is the side most visible from the road to passersby. The pile of ICFs is there mostly to get them out of the way.
Pouring around the north end where the guest bedrooms will be. You can see my main radiant-heat manifold carefully protected and covered with a trash bag in the middle there. I was scared to death that they'd hit it.
Working along the area over the garage. Note how much snow has melted off of the concrete since they were back in the far north corner.
A bit later in the morning. Here they're pouring in the crossover area and the wall between the house and the deck.
Long shot of the house with the trucks and concrete pump in the foreground. Note that there's less snow around now.
Finishing up the crenelations along the front. You can see the drains very nicely in this shot; later we'll be dressing them up with dragons or gargoyles or something like that to look appropriately "castle-ish".
A closeup of this work along the front. We went with narrower slits so the crenelations would work better with the spacing of the drains and windows.


The crew began the pour. Notice how that hose is jumping around, and it's all pretty noisy--apparently concrete pumping is very loud!
Short clip of the pour along the front of the house. Note how some of them are thumping the walls to help ensure the mud settles properly.
Pouring along the south walls, together with a very nice 360 degree pan-around of the entire upstairs. Good job Colleen!

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