Today is the day.
Today we are going to pour the main floor slab of our home! Even though there are a couple of menacing clouds in the distance the weather announces to be good for a pour of this magnitude.
If you recall, we decided to do a full-blown engineered concrete floor. My wife doesn't want to see any cracked tiles in our Anguilla home! This can happen when a more typical floor settles under shifting backfill.
This is truly called a milestone because it is the last phase of the sub-structure. After this pour we can finally say "we are out of the ground".
To get to this point the team had to accomplish a tremendous amount of work. They excavated, they built cisterns, they laid footing, they brought up foundation walls, they backfilled, they laid re-bar, and they brought in the plumbing and electrical.
The pouring however, is a substantially bigger job. Mike keeps a lean and efficient team.
He explains to me, though, that because of the magnitude of the main slab concrete pour, we would require more men. There is no benefit in running your team ragged, putting them in a position where they have to battle all day against the race of curing concrete.
Mike had scouted around and found 6 additional men that would help out for the day of the big pour. Starting as early as possible is key here and everyone (the team, the additional helpers, the pump truck and the first few loads of concrete) were on the site and ready at 7:00 AM.
A quick meeting beforehand to establish designated tasks, a reminder to all the guys to make sure to be careful with the exposed plumbing pipes and electrical conduit and the light goes green.
Everyone is excited and can't wait to start the pour.
Everyone On Site Bright And Early
The First Team Places And Vibrates The Concrete
The Second Team "Screeds" (Levels) The Concrete
Screeds are used to maintain a level or sloped slab, depending on what is required for any particular area. Inside spaces require level slabs and outside spaces such as decks and terraces require sloped slabs. The slope helps to direct rainwater away from the house.
The Third Team Finishes The Concrete with Darbies And A Bull Float
Special attention has been taken to make sure that all the holes (cells) of the concrete-block foundation wall are filled with concrete during the pour of the main slab.
Mike Vibrating Concrete Into The Block Holes
Everything is running like a well oiled machine. We pour section by section starting in areas where the slab height is higher and then moving to sections where the levels are lower.
Picture Of Complete Process
Breaks for the guys are on a rotation basis because the concrete has to keep flowing. Incredibly, by early afternoon the work is done and a symphony of beer bottle opening begins.
It is a short symphony though because the guys are tired and aching and want to make their way home. Hiring the extra guys was a great decision and has paid off well. It would have been impossible without them, as superb as the "core team" is.
West Indies Concrete, our concrete supplier, has done a great job providing a steady flow of trucks full of concrete. In total we placed 13 truckloads of concrete containing a total of 125 yards.
The day that we have all been waiting for is over and it is a total success. The team can't wait to come back tomorrow and do a little jig on the Main Floor of our soon-to-be Anguilla home.
Mike jokes that if anyone brings in sun tan chairs and places them on the slab, there is going to be trouble.
The Final Product
And now, our Anguilla home really begins. Why? Because the next step is...