It is January and it should be cold. It has not been cold and we knew we needed to take advantage of the weather to get the piers for the a-frame poured before it turned. Even though it was warm, it has rained a lot and there was a significant amount of water in those holes, which if frozen, would prevent us from putting concrete into them until a thaw.
The morning Perriee and I were getting ready to go to pour the piers, before we left the city house, I declared that I did not think we would be able to complete it. There was still so much prep work to complete and I was sure we were going to run out of time. We had to dip the water out of the holes, re-cut the new concrete tubes, cut the wire to fit into the holes and get the concrete bags to the site- all before one drop of concrete went into a hole.
I could not have been more wrong. My brother met us there in the morning and we got rolling. I love it when he comes out for so many reasons, but a big one is because when he says he is coming in the morning, it forces us to get up and moving in order to be ready when he is. When you have help, you don’t make them wait! By the time he left the cabin site that evening, we had poured 6 of the 9 piers. Perriee hauled over 2000 pounds of concrete down to our spot between the two days, 1600 at least on the one day. Elaine popped in to haul a couple of loads of concrete and gravel with her during the day and I was able to tag team a couple of trips, but I honestly don’t know how she did it. The mud was thick, the path was long, and the cart had two wheels. The bags were 80 pounds a piece. She is amazing.
While Perriee moved the concrete and gravel, my brother worked the piers. We had to first mix concrete in the holes where there was still some remaining water. We carefully dumped the dry mix into the holes and churned it like butter with a piece of wood. After the holes were filled, we leveled the tube on top of it, packed gravel around the base, and filled the tubes with mixed concrete after fitting the rebar and wire inside of them. He lifted and shoveled and mixed and scooped and leveled all of the heavy stuff. By the time we finished our last pier for the night we were exhausted. Perriee and I made some delicious wraps in the tipi and went to bed. It was a solid 12 hour day and despite our fatigue, we were pretty darn proud of ourselves.
The next morning, Perriee and I finished the last two piers. To be efficient, we hauled the rest of the concrete bags down before we started and ended up with three left over. We then had the privilege of hauling them back up the hill. We got our money back for those bags that very day. If I know anything about concrete, it is how they get heavier when they soak up a bunch of moisture from sitting around doing nothing. I was not going to risk that. It was evening before we we made it home to the city, but again, we were tired yet accomplished. It was exactly one of those weekends where we felt we were living life to the fullest.
The next steps will be to cut the 6 x 6 posts which will serve as the connecting points for the beams and attach the 2 x 8’s to them. I feel good about it and am looking forward to putting the next supply order together. We pretty much have enough to attach the 2 x 8’s except for the hardware needed to attach them. The next order is going to be composed of the sub-floor materials.
Thank you brother! Thank you so very much for rocking out this foundation project with us. We. Did. It. Concrete. Bags. Are. Heavy.
Ride the wave of victory. I want to hang on to this moment for as long as possible. It will be a couple of weeks until we get back out there to work on the next steps. In the meantime we will bask in our win and you should bask in your wins too!