• entries
    53
  • comments
    404
  • views
    4,191

A difficult day...

vivienz

803 views

...for the MBC team, and not their fault, but I have a slab. This is only down to the tenacity and incredible hard work from the MBC team who snatched victory from the jaws of defeat today following horrible equipment failure on the part of the concrete company.

 

So, let's start at the beginning.  The slab team worked like frenzy yesterday morning to get all of the EPS down, followed by the mesh which then got tied into the ring beams.  After that, they put all the underfloor heating pipes in (there are several zones and many, many pipes to come into the manifold).  The building control officer turned up just before 6pm last night and gave everything the okay for the pour today. 

 

Here's the slab with everything on it first thing this morning, just waiting for the concrete, at shortly after 8 this morning.  On site already is the pumping lorry and one mixer of cement. Very exciting, so far, so good.

 

477420572_Beforethepour.thumb.jpg.c83e366d9e6256c8e27be71fde48a2e1.jpg

 

They started with the furthest part first, and the first lot of cement went onto the garage area, where the chaps are standing in the above photo.

 

Here's the pump, concrete lorry and plenty of other equipment all good to go.

 

2063797245_Pump1.thumb.jpg.1c75593d8a6dd08d52036deb47b6184c.jpg

 

Except, it wasn't good to go.  Well, it was, because that's what it did in the end. Go, that is.  The concrete pump packed up and after a good while of trying to fix it, nothing was happening so off it went.

All wasn't lost, however, as one of the drivers was also a pump operator and offered to get a fairly old pump out of retirement and use that.  Brilliant!

 

1216232820_Garageslabpour.thumb.jpg.5a41305cb625e84834543b41b0cad38a.jpg

 

This is the ageing pump putting the concrete over to the garage.  Meanwhile, several hours have passed and after a bit of grumbling earlier in the morning about the concrete lorries not turning up on time, suddenly, they're coming thick and fast and are all parked up our narrow country lane.  Then the second pump got blocked and couldn't be cleared.  A very large man with a very large mallet did all he could to clear it, but it wasn't working. By now, it was nearly 2pm and the slab should have been poured a good few hours ago and power floating started. 

 

Left with no other choice, Harry, who was heading up the team, got the bucket onto the whopping great digger and ALL of the rest of the cement got dumped onto the slab by digger, and then the guys had to drag it over to wherever they needed it.  This was for a floor area of about 180 sq metres.

 

1708060622_Concreteintobucket.thumb.jpg.a5657641039a83f87d14428962a9d196.jpg

 

Fortunately, there were 5 on the team today as they had brought in an extra guy to cover for one who was late back from holiday, but turned up straight from the airport to the site so the numbers were beefed up, and boy, did they need all of them today.

 

The garage slab was screeded (is that actually a verb?  Dunno, it is now), and was looking fine.

 

324160598_Pouredslab1.thumb.jpg.b46178079affa289a4f99dcde6d96d15.jpg

 

Eventually, the rest of the concrete got where it was supposed to be and the lane finally emptied of concrete lorries - there were 5 on or around the site at one point this afternoon.

 

190565182_Pouredslab2.thumb.jpg.38df14b101135b78dc98448b6961cbb0.jpg

 

Now, the eagle-eyed amongst you will realise that there are no photos of the final, powerfloated slab.  This is because I pushed off at 5.30 this evening and they were only just starting on the garage; they reckon that they would just about get it finished this evening by the time the light went, so I'm afraid, dear reader, that you really will have to wait for those photos.

 

One final photo from earlier in the day has something of interest, as it shows the shuttering that was put in place on the threshold for the lift and slide doors that are going in the living room area.

 

1273046048_Windowthresholdshuttering.thumb.jpg.a3770ac7b478519616b1a090bd686e65.jpg

 

Tune in soon for the next thrilling update!

 

Slab and UFH pipes.jpg

  • Like 6


17 Comments


Recommended Comments

I lost count of the number of times Harry said today "...and it was all going so well." Poor man - he's a lovely guy and didn't deserve a day like today.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I have my fingers crossed for your powerfloat but think they're gonna need floodlights!

Share this comment


Link to comment

Been there, got the tee-shirt.

Our floodlit powerfloating experience was caused by concrete turning up late and the weather conditions. No floodlights, just the headlights of a MBC van. Brendan, MBC  working at 2200hr on a Friday, kept going with fish & chips

P1040582.JPG

P1040583.JPG

Share this comment


Link to comment

Great story that no doubt reminds all of us of our own builds. Mine was power floated in the dark and when I poured the garage floor (separate to house) the vibrating beam screed fell to pieces and consequently I have a very uneven garage floor that I just about smile about now. You will laugh and smile about all these things one day when you stand and look back at your lovely new home. (I hope)

Share this comment


Link to comment

True commitment from the guy who showed up straight from the airport. Image of flip flops, Hawaiian shirt, dropping his suitcases and getting stuck straight in!

Share this comment


Link to comment

Crikey, that sounds like an intense day all round.  Our MBC slab pour is not many weeks away and we have been following your journey as though it is our own.  I shall add to the 'to do' list sourcing a defibrillator for that day to deal with heart-stopping moments.

Share this comment


Link to comment
2 hours ago, HerbJ said:

Been there, got the tee-shirt.

Our floodlit powerfloating experience was caused by concrete turning up late and the weather conditions. No floodlights, just the headlights of a MBC van. Brendan, MBC  working at 2200hr on a Friday, kept going with fish & chips

 

I delivered a curry to Brendan at about 10:30 on the night ours was done. He was just sitting there in the cold waiting for the concrete to go off so he could power float it. Unfortunately, it was the next morning until that was possible, and we didn't get a decent power float because of it. Cold weather and unexpected rain didn't help.

Share this comment


Link to comment

....the machines were turned off at 11.45pm on mine when the batteries to the mountain bike head torches ran out....

  • Sad 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

There's a theme here...

 

Our concrete arrived late and Brendan was still power floating the slab will into the night.  The problem seems to be that the power floating  can't start until the concrete has partially cured, so it only takes a bit of a delay or bad weather to mean that they have to work on into the night to get things finished.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Our concrete arrived on time - literally started at 8 in the morning from memory, but the concrete just didn't want to go off.

 

I have a theory that the concrete in some sections of the slab contained far too much water (the concrete was mixed onsite by a truck then pumped via a boom). There were repeated calls from the MBC guys to the guy on the concrete truck reduce the amount of water being mixed in, especially earlier in the pour, but it kept creeping up. The worst areas seemed to be the earlier parts of the pour where this was happening, but that's completely unscientific speculation on my part.

 

Despite all the efforts, our slab was a mess in the end. This was the worst bit, a week or two after the pour, I think:

 

Slab_1.thumb.JPG.bc6ab0a3ab9483921cf16a40b8629a80.JPG

 

Slab_2.thumb.JPG.11dc5716fbc9c9f50ecad61ef1085024.JPG

 

You can see that the fat has just disintegrated from the top (possibly not helped by frosty nights in the days following the pour).

 

To his credit, Joe (MBC's owner) dropped by when I raised the issue and immediately offered to raise the frame by a small amount and pay for a liquid screed. In the end we decided to go with a concrete floor instead, so offered to hold back some of our final payment to make up the difference, which Joe was happy to do.

Share this comment


Link to comment
3 minutes ago, jack said:

To his credit, Joe (MBC's owner) dropped by when I raised the issue and immediately offered to raise the frame by a small amount and pay for a liquid screed. In the end we decided to go with a concrete floor instead, so offered to hold back some of our final payment to make up the difference, which Joe was happy to do.

 

I am a big fan of contractors who come up with a solution rather than just the standard shrug of shoulders.  Pouring and curing a concrete slab is a hell of a task and lots can go wrong - deliveries, mix, weather, poor prep, poor site operative, broken equipment.  On most housebuilder sites nobody cares, unless it is civil engineering, in which case it is all inspected, cube tested etc.

 

A few years ago near Brighton I watched a reinforced concrete bridge being built, then a couple of weeks later the main supports were torn down by a huge demolition excavator. Apparently the concrete supplier got the mix wrong.  Mucho £££

  • Like 2

Share this comment


Link to comment

The concrete in my foundation didn't go off because of the conditions on the day. Late August, warm, very humid, little sun, lots of cloud cover and no wind! The  late concrete  deliveries pushed everything back.  We managed to float it until  we finally called it a day when we ddecided we couldn't get it any better.

To be honest,  the worst area was the garage ( the last area to get concrete fill) but  it was not too bad and  you would never know, now that resin floor had been applied (after a good grind and resin filling of minor imperfections where the odd piece of aggregate was loose). The rest of the floor was reasonably level  and we laid 110m2 porcelain tiles straight on top  for most of it and 50m2 engineered oak boards on the rest-   10mm max   out  worst across 15 x 12m or so

Share this comment


Link to comment

Looking good. Don't be afraid to put a tape across the diagonals and check for square. Same goes with checking for level across the floor. A few buckets of water threw over it in a day or two will do it no harm but can show up bad bits very quickly.

If it turns out it's all gd then happy days on to the next bit with confidence it's 100% right at the bottom.

  • Thanks 1

Share this comment


Link to comment

A good show of tenacity as usual. Having the right crowd makes all the difference TBH, and bucketing concrete in the digger is a show of grit 'n' determination. 

Excellent end to what must have been a very long day for the MBC guys. :/ 

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now