03 November, 2015

Pool House Expansion Project, Day Thirty, 03/11/15

Today's the Day - Casting the Beam

Day Thirty, 03 November, 2015

Whatever you call it, Casting or pouring  the Chain, Casting the Beam, or some other combination, it really doesn't matter. Today's the day for it to happen. The 'machine' (the cement mixer) was due to arrive about 15 minutes ago. It being Belize, that means they're right on time.

I'm ready for them. I've charged the camera, so no dead battery today. Carl and his crew are ready for them. We've got the gravel, the sand, and the bags of cement. The forms are all ready. Even the anchor points (that get embeded in the concrete) are on hand. All we need is the machine.

I've even gone around and snapped a few shots of the guys making preparations for the casting.

A new bit, Carl pointed out to me just a few minutes ago, is that the area above the closet will also be enclosed in its own little cabinet, with doors. I think this will be a cleaner installation. Dianna hasn't seen this yet, so it might be a surprise for her.

This is also where the access hatch to the attic will be, just as an FYI. Nelson's probably going to be disappointed. He's not going to have an overhead hidey-hole now.
The Closet Will Have A Shelf Cabinet
 The old manual A/C unit was successfully removed. Right now, they've got a piece of plastic and duct tape holding it closed. After casting the chain, they'll place blocks and finish it right.
Bright Hole Where the A/C Used to Be
 From the outside, you can see why they needed to remove the unit. It would have been in the way of the form wood. Oh well, it was coming out anyway.
There is Where the A/C Unit Came from
 Here it is in the basement. A little cleaning up here and there and it should be good to go. It does work. I've tested it. Cold air and all.
The Old A/C Unit Back View
 From the front end, it looks even better.
The Old A/C Unit Front View
 Of course, Mr. Nelson helped me with the inspection of the A/C unit. It got a paw of approval.
Nelson Is Helping Me Inspect the A/C Unit
 In anticipation of the casting this afternoon (I hope), the crew is busily tying rebar to place in the forms.
The Guys Are Busy Tying Steel Wire
As the casting occurs, these anchor points will be placed along the way, with Carl and Omar watching that closely, so they're placed correctly. These will be bolted to each truss and help hurricane proof (as much as we can) the roof.
Whole Stack of anchor Points
 Here's a little better view of just how they're shaped and how they will be anchored in the concrete.
Anchor Point Showing Split
Just after lunch, the crew began hauling tied steel to the building to be hoisted up and dropped into place in the forms.
Carrying Tied Steel To the Building
Not only is the stuff heavy, but it flexes readily too, making for a very awkward thing to work with.
Hoisting the Tied Steel Up to the Form
Finally, it's in, but there's quite a few more pieces to get placed into the forms before the pour can begin.
Finally It's Dropped Into Place
A second piece, this one destined to go on the interior wall, is being pushed onto the scaffolding, then to be hoisted up and dropped into place.
Bringing Another Length In To Position
Here comes another length. Carl had to run to Lano's to get about five more lengths of steel. Somebody miscounted.
Bringing a Length of Tied Steel To the Building
The crew of the 'machine', the cement mixer, comes pretty well self-contained, even bringing their own homemade ladders as needed.
The 'Machine' Crew Comes Sef-Contained
And here comes another length of steel. At this rate, it might not take too awful long. But, getting the pour done this afternoon? Just the beginnings of 'iffy.'
And Another Length of Tied Steel Going In
The hardest part of each piece is getting it into position to drop it in the forms.
Pulling the Steel Into Place To Put It In the Form
Finally, this piece is ready to drop.
Ready to Drop it Into the Form
This was all taking place around 1:30 PM or so. At about 2:30, the 'machine', the cement mixer and it's crew showed up. But all didn't proceed as planned.

As it turns out, there was a slight change in plans necessitating Carl's crew to prepare more tied steel. If you look at the photo just above, you see in the center the worker with the white shirt. The wood form going from him diagonally to the lower right of the photo is all new. The plans didn't call for that. But, it's a nice thing that it's there. It provides much more strength to the overall structure. There's also the jog by him again that outlines the closet. All those pieces needed to have steel formed for their forms.

Now, our chances of a successful pour this afternoon... um, not so much.

The afternoon was speedily drawing to a close, sunwise. That is, the sun was going down. It was now about 4:45 PM. So by 5:30, it was going to be dark. Since the pour would require on the order of two hours to complete, and it hadn't started yet, a command decision was made to send the machine's crew home for the evening, along with Carl's crew as soon as they finished getting the forms ready.

The plan now, was for everyone to reassemble at 5:30 AM, cast the chain and be done by 8:30, taking the rest of the day to relax and vote, of course.

So, that's where we are for this evening. New day in the morning will call for a new blog posting.

See you then.

There's many more photos than appear in each posting. You can see all the photos of the construction project on Flickr at: There will be new photos added each day of the project.     

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