These walls are SOLID!

This update spans 12/23 – 12/28, and consists of 3 separate visits to the house – one of the most rewarding things about being a teacher is the time off! Because of this, I will separate it by date during the blog, so you can see the progression.

12/23: The walls are still hollow, but are now braced both inside and along the top of the walls. Two overviews of the house:

In the photos above & the one coming up, you will notice that the builders (Classic Structures, Inc.) use many 2×4’s. Woody said that he uses more 2×4’s than most other builders, for two reasons. First, these reinforce the walls to avoid blowouts once they start pouring. Second, bracing the walls ensures that we will have straighter walls. Here is an interior view of all the braces:

On this visit, we also noticed that we now have an electricity meter. More progress – huzzah!

We noticed that the window braces had holes in the bottom of them. At this point, we didn’t know what the holes were for, so we decided to take a picture and ask later. We thought that they might use these holes for pumping concrete into the part of the wall below the window. That, however, was not the case.

It turns out that these holes are used to release air, so that we don’t have air bubbles trapped inside our walls, and are also used for the builder to tell how the concrete is setting up once he begins pouring. He didn’t need to pour through the holes, because the kind of concrete that he used to fill our walls was made of very tiny gravel. The tiny gravel allowed the concrete to flow around the rebar and fill up the walls evenly. I will post photos of this later in this same post. Without further ado, the photo of the window holes:

We had passed yet another inspection, the lintel inspection, and the construction site had received a new delivery, of the 2nd floor trusses:


My father was in town for a visit, and Woody kindly agreed to let us watch him and his crew pouring the concrete in the walls. This was a red-letter day, as we finally now have a structure that even a hurricane would have difficulty knocking down.

When Woody was pouring, he held the tube from which concrete issued (the tube was operated by the pump operator), and he basically walked around and around the top of the house, filling in the walls evenly. Initially, the concrete was a bit wet, so the Eco Blocks started to bulge, but they remedied this problem without incident – no blowouts!

The concrete came from – where else – a concrete truck!

And it was pumped by a pump truck, through a very high boom, then down through the tube that Woody was holding.

Pump truck:

The boom from the concrete truck:

The liquid from the concrete was oozing a bit through the cracks in the blocks, so I captured that on film:

The concrete itself did not ooze between the blocks, so the cracks between these blocks were fine. When they were finished pouring, the truck driver washed the concrete out of the concrete truck:


We returned to check out the finished product: filled walls and dried concrete. While we were here, my father pointed out the spot to me where the concrete truck had washed off. Here, you can clearly see the difference between the concrete that was used to pour our floor & the concrete that was used to fill our walls. The concrete for the walls had to have very small gravel, so that it would spread out under the bay window & evenly fill in the walls around the rebar.

Here is the concrete used to pour the floor – notice the large pieces of rock:

Here is the concrete used to fill our walls – notice the much finer gravel:

We – and by we, I mean my father, since you are not getting me to climb up a ladder – took photos from the top of the walls. Here is one of the top of our walls; notice the hurricane clips for tying the roof down:

In this second photo, you can see the rebar which will be used to connect the 2nd floor with our first floor. The silver octagons are going to be used for the 2nd floor trusses, to help build our 2nd floor.

And here is one of that window hole, after pouring. The concrete has bubbled through a bit, but it can easily be knocked off with a hammer:

Woody told us that the next step now is attaching the 2nd floor trusses, so that they can continue raising our walls. Part of our house will be 2 story, and part will only be 1 story, which is why some of the walls have hurricane clips already, and some have rebar for the 2nd floor.


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