Sunday, 8 February 2009

Now we have real foundations.

What a week we've had on site. The team from Scanhome came to do the foundations - and they did a great job. The weather has been pretty cold, but at least the sun shone at times (sometimes for most of the day), which made the place look lovely and gave us a sunny disposition despite some snow flurries.

Somehow, this part really helps it feel real to us and reminds us of the route we are choosing to build - low energy / near passive. It was great to see the whole thing go together and the detailing and care that went into it.

Without getting too technical, the foundation is extremely well insulated by two layers of polystyrene board, then comes the radon barrier (the red plastic), steels to strengthen the concrete, cables for electric underfloor heating (and other water cables in case we change to solar water underfloor heating in the future). Then the concrete is poured (it has a high content of recycled ash - so may look a little darker than normal - apparently) and smoothed out. If anyone wants more details, just email me.

Here comes the picture tour of the foundations springing into life.

The pad (of levelled stones) is ready for the foundation work to begin

Sally is meeter and greeter

The Corners are marked out

The shuttering is ready to go up
The shuttering goes up (pipes are in underneath it)
The polystyrene
Polystyrene in place
Me in my builders hat
The radon barrier is put on

Steels at the edges for re-enforcement

Radon barrier is down, pipes sealed

All the steel is ready
All prepared for the pour

Heat cables

A frosty start to the day of the pour

The pour begins

The concrete is levelled off a bit

We inspect the good work

More levelling

Whole pad is poured and is being 'fine tuned'

The concrete lorry goes

Here's our shiny new pad (just needs a touch of power floating)

Well that was our big excitement for this month. I never thought that I'd be excited to see some concrete being poured - but it was actually quite a moving experience. The team were lovely and even even dragged a couple of them down to the Folk Club at Farrelley's on Thursday night!

It is touching to think that we'll be able to look back (once we're settled in the house) and remember this process - the changes, the people, the excitement, the nerves.

I was really excited to see the shadows fall on the foundation at different times of day (thank goodness there was a bit of sun) and I can imagine how the sun will come through the windows - this time of your it will stretch really deeply into the rooms.

Anyway, we're back up north for a wee while now. I'm crossing fingers and toes that we'll be able to sort out a few niggles - like the Eircom pole that needs re-locating from the boundary.
(We were told it was an electricity pole .. and so I duly informed the ESB that it needed moving. Try to imagine my face when they came out, looked at the pole, looked at me and informed me that it wasn't their pole!).

We have the artic coming in less than a month and it would be hard for it to get past the pole. Eircom have come out to do a survey (and charged for it too) and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it won't cost a fortune to move and that they can do it in time. Otherwise we'll have to temporarily widen more on the other side, but it will still be tight. I'll get onto them again next week.

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