04 November, 2015

Pool House Expansion Project, Day Thirty-One, 04/11/15

Today Really is the Day - Casting the Beam

Day Thirty, 03 November, 2015

It really did happen this morning. The girls and I opened the gates at 5:30 AM, as we had promised. Everyone promptly showed up at 6:35 AM of Carl's crew. The Machine crew showed up about 7:15 AM. Actually pretty good for an election day here in Belize. It's a major National election. We could have the same government by the end of the day, or it could be a new one. We'll just have to watch the streaming on Que Pasa Corozal ( we don't have cable TV. Or maybe listen to Love FM (

Enough of the plugs for the fifth estate. As you can see below, the guys are getting ready to pour the chain. All is in position, and the players are all ready.
Getting Set To Pour the Chain
Omar grabbed the hose for a bit from the guys at the machine and wet down the forms so that they don't leach out too much water as the concrete sets.
Omar Wetting the Forms
Omar, being the perfectionist that he is, was busy as a one-armed paper hanger, checking everything possible in the forms.
Omar Checking Polyducto
Here goes the first bucket of concrete into the form. It does tend to get to be a sloppy operation, but overall, they are quite careful with the materials.
Pouring Carefully
Here you can see they're stuffing bits of cement bag paper down into the forms in various places where the fit isn't quite as tight as it should be.
Using Cement Bag Parts to Fill Gaps in forms
The machine crew comes prepared. They even bring their own homemade ladders
Manuvering One of Their Ladders
The ballet around the machine is in full swing and goes continuosly until the pour is completed.
Loading Up the Machine
Using a prybar to lift the rebar gently, to ensure the concrete settles down with as few air gaps as possible.
Prying Up the Rebar So It Settles in Middle
Even in construction, the politics of the day is evident. UDP, the United Democratic Party (red colors), is one of the major parties contesting the election today. The other is the People's United Party (blue colors). There is another party, the Belize Progressive Party (green colors).
Politics Even on the Worksite
Much of our crew's activities during the pour is to ensure that the pour goes without a hitch and that everything is in the forms and smooth.
Smoothing Out the Pour
Again, Omar is busy with some last minute adjustments to the forms.
Omar Making Final Adjustments
Not only do these guys hump buckets, that when filled, weigh a bit over 110 lbs, but they have to have the agility to climb ladders and climb onto the forms themselves, with a full bucket, in order to deliver the concrete to the right part of the form.
Balance and Poise While Pouring
Sometimes, it's easy. Just climb and it's a straight pour. Other times, it's a bit rougher.
Another Bucketload Going In
I mentioned about the cement bag paper filling gaps. Here's what really aligns the forms with the blocks. Tying wire and wedges placed all over the pour really pull things together.
Tying Wire and Wedges Bind forms Tightly
And there's always a piece of wood or something to use to massage the mix to help get rid of air gaps.
Getting Rid of Air Gaps
Sometimes, usually right around a turn, like here, things can get a bit congested.
Another Bucket Load
Making final preparations on the forms barely can keep ahead of the guys doing the pour.
Preparing and Pouring
Once in a while a bucket become airborne as that load is deposited and the bucket tossed to the ground.
Finished With That Bucket
Here Omar is measuring for the anchors. It's critical that they be placed just so, as the spacing of the trusses, affects the roofing materials and so much more.
Omar Measuring for the Anchors
Omar has the first of the anchors in hand and ready to position it in the concrete.
Ready to Position the First Anchor

Pushing Anchor into Concrete
And, there it goes. Sunk about six inches in and with five inches still above.
Just About Perfect Placement
There's a break in the action as FatBoy, the Sandwich or Breakfast Man shows up. He's always popular. Dianna and I have eaten sandwiches he and his family prepare several times.
FatBoy the Breakfast Man
Omar and George take a moment to discuss how they're going to proceed with the pour. They better hurry. The guys humping the buckets move fast.
Omar and George Discussing the Pour
Faster than you might think. Here, they're using two ladders simultaneously to accomplish the pour. They've double-teamed our crew!
Two Ladders At A Time
At one point, the machine guys got ahead of the bucket carriers, so the Maestro (red shirt) took advantage of the lull to climb up and see how the pour was going. He's called the Maestro because he's in charge of the machine and directs all the activities associated with it. The name always reminds me of that Seinfeld episode for some reason.
Maestro Checking Out the Pour
You can see the anchors all lined up along the whole length. In a few days, they'll be bolted to each of the trusses. Then it'll look like we're really getting somewhere.
Anchors All the Way
One of the last areas to get poured is the middle sections. But still, it's no less work.
Pouring the Middle
Here's a shot showing a run that is almost finished.
Nearing the End of this Run
Once the pour was finished, the machine crew cleaned up and departed. Carl's crew stuck around and really cleaned up the work area, and then filled up our trash bin with the empty cement bags, before departing to go vote. They finished roughly about 10:30 AM. A good day's work all around. Thanks Guys.

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.


Wilma said...

Looking good! And familiar... ;-) Check out our "big pour" here
and here

Dave Rider said...

Hi Wlma,
Thanks for the nice comment, and the links too. Your place is looking spectacular.