Well, it's been over 10 months and a huge amount of work again has been
completed! We actually are further along than the photos show,
but we wanted to continue the construction in proper sequence for those of you
asking about the next steps.
Since the scaffolding was all up, we
were ready to start on the upper parapet wall ICF forms and the
Insuldeck forms. Moving and placing the lightweight Insuldeck
forms was tricky because we're now 14 feet high and the wind blows
more. We have to always make sure the remaining panels are tied
down as we work.
We had three main challenges for this 2nd floor
deck: hoisting up 12,000 lbs of #'s 7, 6, 5, and 4 rebar 20 feet
long, devising a jig to tie the shear ties to the main rebar, and
figuring out a method to tie the 7/8" pex tubing down (for the second floor heated area) underneath all
the rebar! We finally succeeded as the photos show. but boy was
that tough! Tying the long shear ties in the parapet wall was
also very difficult. But all had to be done according to specs or our
roof would collapse from the earth load. So we took our time.
Wall perimeter Rebar, Finish 12" Walls & Tie Rebar, Install Chase
Forms, Finish 6" NE 2nd Flr walls, Deck Rebar and Verify Half
Bath, Deck Pour
this took a lot of time. Leah and I developed a lot of strength in
lifting all the rebar, placing it, and tying it. Alignment of the
bars was critical, especially in the bottom of the webs. The
stair and kitchen opening chases took some thought too as we had to be
able to take the forms out after the deck pouring! There's just a
lot of rebar up there! We took many pictures to help us
remember where things were located. It's easy to forget once the
all the rebar was tied and all the forms were braced and ready for the
deck pour. That day we poured about 92 yards and had 10 people
working. (See video below photos) It was both an exciting
and very tense time as vibrating all the webs and parapet walls had to be done so the
concrete consolidated around the bottom No 7 bars. Leah watched
the pressure gauge on the pex tubing and I made sure all the webs were
vibrated. It was fast and furious, but the guys did an absolutely
beautiful job! The stair opening section proved that the concrete
did consolidate well around the bottom web rebar. We were
thrilled and very thankful.
Building 2nd Floor Walls & Porch, Take Down Shoring, Pour 2nd Floor Walls & Porch
the 2nd floor deck was poured, we started right in on the 2nd floor 6"
ICF walls. Leah and I were getting a little faster building with
the ICF forms so we got it done in about 2 weeks, including a marathon
26 hour straight work session leading right into the concrete pour of
3.5 hours! Whew!! While we waited for the concrete test
cylinders of the deck pour to harden for strength testing, we continued
We took time to dig a back porch footer and set up courses of ICF block
for that. We tested some of the concrete test cylinders at
14 days after the deck pour and found that the psi strength was two
times stronger than what we needed! So we then scheduled the
shoring to be taken down. That was really remarkable. . . what
had taken Leah and I and a few other helpers about 3 months to put up.
. . was taken down by a crew of 10 in 3.5 hours!!
Unbelievable! But it was great to have all the space open again
on the 1st floor.
We finally poured the 2nd floor and porch and all other tops of
wingwalls that tied to other walls and was really glad to see that
done. That was our 7th pour over two years. Solterra
was taking shape!
& Truss Delivery, Set Truss Plates & Garage Rafters, Dig Main
Drainage Trench, Test Cylinders, Set Trusses, Build Dormer &
Observatory, Deliver Shingles, Deliver Rocks, and Install Windows/Doors
the 2nd floor walls had cured, it was time for some lumber!
Trusses and lumber for garage joists and rafters were delivered.
We hired truss, rafter, and sheathing placement out because it would be
done a whole lot faster than we could do it! (Sometimes it's
better to sub out the big jobs . . .much less stress.)
While the truss and garage plates were being set, we dug the main
drainage trench. Flexible tile would be placed in the trench so that
all water coming off the roof deck would drain to a catch basin we dug
inline with a field tile main. All sump water would be pumped up
and over the deck to this trench drain as well.
tested the remaining deck pour concrete cylinders after 34 days to see
what the final strength would be close to and were surprised that they
were now almost 3x stronger than what was needed! Thanks to
Kuhlman Concrete for great consistent mixes and our super placement
crew headed by Peter Lucio.
trusses were set with a crane and the long garage roof joists and
rafters were installed with the 3/4" plywood used for deck shoring
recycled for roof sheathing. That worked great and saved a ton of
money. The unique observatory walls over the garage was completed
as well, ready for the later installation of a 6 ft diameter fiberglass
dome. Pretty neat.
were thrilled to see the windows and doors placed (we subbed that out
as well. . . again much quicker) and the shingles delivered to the roof
area, ready to be installed. Solterra was looking just like the
design called for and we were very proud. Check back for the next
update. (It should be MUCH faster than this one.)