Our Straw House


Garage Concrete

Fall 2007 - 9 July 2008

We started preparing for the garage foundation last fall.  Unfortunately, I don't seem to have any pics of that!  Not sure what went wrong there ... oops.  

Anyway, here's a summary of what we did:  we used a whole lot of crushed stone to created the raised part in the centre.  This is so that the concrete slab will be 15" high at the edge (to support the bales), but only 4" thick in the centre.  Then we compacted the crushed stone, and covered it with an insulative tarp (the grey thing in the first pic).  Then wire mesh - this helps strengthen the concrete and prevent cracking.  It also gave us something to connect the radiant floor tubing to.  We don't have any immediate plans to heat the garage, but we did want to practice working with the radiant floor tubing before doing it on the house.

Then we installed the styrofoam insulation around the perimeter and supported it with braces.  When building the angle braces, we re-used the wood leftover from the 'legs' that supported the cedar posts before the i-beams were installed.

All ready to pour!

We might be new to this, but we still realized we could not move all the concrete by ourselves.  So we hired a pumper truck ... good thing too!

The concrete truck is here, time to get moving!

Getting set up:

Okay, you are probably wondering why it looks like we are filling our garage up with sewage, rather than concrete ... it's coloured concrete.  Again, we wanted to try out our first colour choice before we tried it in the house.  Good thing too - this dried to a very disappointing pinky-tan colour.  Yuk!

Mark got stuck with the job of placing the concrete from the pump.  I shoveled and raked when I wasn't taking pictures.

It's messy work!

Break's over - back at it!

Floating it out:

Waiting for the last concrete truck:

The last of the concrete gets placed, and now it is a race to float it all out before it sets up ... so very few pics as we worked like maniacs.

All done ... is it perfect?  Nope.  We ended up with a totally serviceable garage floor (crack-free, I might add), and we learned a number of lessons along the way.  We will be doing several things differently when pour concrete for the house.  Of these things, the most significant one is we will be paying someone else to pour the concrete!

Two filthy concrete warriors - especially Mark!