Three pours down..none to go - thank goodness

Simon R

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We’ve just done our final concrete pour, in fact two pours in one week. From ground floor to gables in two weeks with Easter in the middle is quick, a little too quick to enjoy. We can now get a real sense of how the house will look. Next week we are ready to start work on the roof.

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Before building the first floor, a temporary floor was laid around the room perimeters using 12mm OSB. This was done to provide a working area to build the blocks from and allow bracing to be put in place without damaging the final floor. 12mm board seemed awfully thin to walk on!  .

 

With our builders now familiar with the wall plans the blocks went up very quickly indeed. In practice it takes longer to do the bracing and shuttering than to do the building. Not having to cut blocks on site is a major advantage, not just from an accuracy point of view but it also makes the site much cleaner. Some ICF sites look as though it’s been snowing with polystyrene.

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As mentioned in out last blog entry we had the option to do a single pour combining the first floor and gables. We’re really glad it was done in two stages, attempting it in one pour would almost certainly caused major bracing issues and risked the block work due to the higher pressures resulting from the depth of concrete. Never thought I would be happy to shell out £1000 on a pump.

 

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Having no experience of other build methods it’s not easy to evaluate the pro’s and con’s of each system. For us, the need to use concrete pumps has to be the worst aspect of ICF. It just seems like you’re never quite ready and there’s another dozen details to attend to before it starts. With multiple companies involved for boom pumps and concrete delivery, it’s both expensive and difficult to get people to turn up when you asked for them. Our last pour was scheduled for 11am and the concrete lory finally arrived a 3:30pm...To add to the entertainment the pump has to be vented after use. This involves a set of guys you probably won’t see again and want to be elsewhere dumping large volumes of concrete on your site. After three pours we have somewhere in the region of three tons of set concrete to break up and pay to dispose of. Some of the last lot got dumped on next doors newly block paved drive. Lots and lots of cleaning up. It’s not too much of a surprise that the builders don’t include this in there list of responsibilities. Definitely the Achilles heel of the ICF build method.

 

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Enough  moaning, it’s been a long couple of weeks with many disturbed nights worrying irrationally about being a lego brick short at the end of the build. We now have a house, no roof, but hey we have to do something next week.

 

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We has 12mm OSB temprary flooring on 600 centred posijoists for well over a year. It held up surprisingly well. Just don't try putting a scaffold tower up on it without something under the legs to spread the load.

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Thanks for the post. Was the concrete excess due to not needing the full order in the blocks? 

Maybe I'll put some shuttering around my garage piles for any excess 

 

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45 minutes ago, Adam2 said:

Thanks for the post. Was the concrete excess due to not needing the full order in the blocks? 

Maybe I'll put some shuttering around my garage piles for any excess 

 

No, we've used a volumetric cement lorry, so only taken what we need. It appears to be a rather unpleasant feature of the boom pumps.

 

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You get about a 1/3 m out of the pump lines when they clean them through @Adam2, a good idea is to have someplace to put it, shutter up a box for the chicken coup to sit on or make a base for the wheelie bins, I have 3 posts that hold up our carport that sit on concrete pads, so pre dug some very rough holes ready for the overspill. 

 

You need to nominate a washdown area for the pump guy, plastic on the floor with a sheet of ply on top so it’s easy to shovel up the mess. 

Its all relatively straight forward with a bit of planning. 

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1 hour ago, Russell griffiths said:

Its all relatively straight forward with a bit of planning. 

 

Or you plan a space and ask the pump guy to use it, he says yes, then the moment your back is turned he just dumps it where the truck was parked while pumping.

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4 hours ago, Russell griffiths said:

You get about a 1/3 m out of the pump lines when they clean them through @Adam2, a good idea is to have someplace to put it

 

Hmm, theory and practice don't quite align for me. We have the shuttered box, but getting it used is another matter. The guys doing the ICF build for us are good and generally keep things under control, however at pours they are preoccupied and can't always keep and eye on the concrete pump.  Having a small crowded site does not help. On our first pour we were completely unprepared for the pump dump, for the second and third pours we made a box from scaffold board. Not sure why but we've had a lot more than 1/3 cubic meter from our pumps, you can see from the photo the box is pretty full from just two pumps.

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Ours dumped it next to our small bit of hard standing and it did a good job of expanding the vehicle access until it finally started to crumble.

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Lol, we had an excess delivered, and I said to the concrete truck driver "just hold off on tipping all of it into the pump while I check with the crew if its needed"... 

 

... But the driver decided to dump it all in the pump hopper as quick as he could, and chuffed off back to the batching plant. 

 

Here's a recent pic of the front of our house... 

 

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The observant among you will notice something that looks remarkably like a scene from "The Lion King" to the left of the picture. We call it "the Monolith". The 13T digger we had on site couldn't move it, so we have decided to make it a feature! 

 

1/3T pump line, pah! Try 3m3 of C68 concrete being dumped where you wanted a lawn! 😭

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Hi. I only recently joined BuildHub and looking around hence very late comment :-). Can I just confirm that top of gable came pre-cut or did you have to adjust on site? Thanks

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On 15/05/2020 at 16:05, NickK said:

Can I just confirm that top of gable came pre-cut or did you have to adjust on site? Thanks

Hi Nick,

the gables, windows dors etc all come pre-cut. The JUB system is unique in that respect as far as I know.

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Thank you Simon. That’s neat for anyone embracing DIY approach. Pay premium I suppose but less room for error.

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