Saturday, 15 February 2014

Insulation and Start of the Slab

I arrived on the house plot to find the building team laying out the interlocking insulation panels, that had been delivered early that morning, right across the house area.

Ready for the insulation layer.
This insulation was being laid directly upon the main beams layer (see previous post) and was to then be covered with the first layer of the concrete slab.

Interlocking panels being cut and laid in place.
This first slab layer needed to be reinforced with the wire mesh that is seen used everywhere as fencing, forming the structure of small poly tunnels etc. etc. Therefore when about a third of the insulation had been laid mesh was laid directly on top of it to hold it in place prior to the first pour of the concrete.

First layer of mesh applied directly upon the insulation.

A rough layer of concrete being laid over the insulation and mesh.
After this first pour which put down a rough layer of concrete approximately half the thickness of the planned pour for that day another layer of reinforcing mesh was laid across the wet concrete, stamped down into it and then more concrete poured on top to attain the desired depth. This was then tamped down with the mechanical vibrating tool and finished by hand to obtain a good level surface.

The second layer of mesh being cut and laid onto the rough layer of concrete.

The vibration team goes first followed by the hand tamping and finishing.
All was going along steadily until the concrete pump and first lorry of ready mix appeared a little earlier than expected and after a short delay, whilst the first major section preparation was completed, pouring started, the second layer of mesh applied and the pouring for that first area completed, vibrated and carefully finished. Special attention was again paid by the team to the section around the perimeter of the house site and this time also to carefully working the concrete around the reinforced waste pipes to avoid damaging them.
Unfortunately at this point the team ran out of reinforcing mesh. They seemed very relaxed about it, despite a partly unloaded ready mix lorry poised to load the pump and two other lorries waiting further up the plot so I decided more mesh must be on its way. Sure enough after a very well earned  lunch break a lorry turned up with more mesh, literally dropped it off the back and rapidly departed.
It was then again like the starers pistol had been fired with all hands to the pump to get the mesh in place so that the pour, vibrating and tamping down could continue.

The last of the concrete pour, vibration and finishing continuing and the earlier areas being damped down.
Work then continued uninterrupted until all the insulation, enforcing mesh and concrete had been poured. The pump and the last lorry departed leaving the team to finish off. By then it was quite late, had clouded up and was getting quite dark but had once again been an amazingly productive day.

Finishing off a very productive day.