Building My House

I have always wanted to build my own house. I am retired now, so I have the time. I found some land, designed a house that would fit the land and my needs and got started. I am doing all the work myself, so progress will be fairly slow. To read this blog from the beginning, start with the oldest archive and read posts from last to first.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Another Update


I have become used to posting an update each week; so as long as I continue to accomplish something we will continue along those lines. Last week we had rain on Monday (Christmas day), but every other day was good building weather; 50’s and 60’s. It doesn’t get much better than that, so I’m trying to “make hay while the sun shines”.

Last week I pretty much finished the east wall (E) and got a good head start on the north wall (N). Concrete has been poured in the cells containing vertical rebar up to about the 4th block course. Rebar has been installed above that concrete, but can’t be seen in this pic because block has already been stacked and covers it up. I have started laying out the block for the tornado shelter (TS).

I learned something new this week when it comes to filling the cells with concrete, and that is to use a big coffee can. Before, I was using a sharpshooter shovel (long skinny blade to dig narrow ditches), but the coffee can holds more concrete (so is faster) and prevents spillage if the concrete is mixed a little “thinner” (more watery). It’s funny how when mixing bags of Quikcrete in the wheelbarrow I use the same amount of water for each bag, but some loads come out thinner than others. Anybody got an explanation; I’m all ears.

I have a question for those of you reading this blog. Right now I am buying all my concrete in 60 pound bags. That is the expensive way to buy concrete. I figure it is running about $130 per yard of concrete this way (and I need at least 3 more yards). When the big concrete truck brought me concrete it was $68 per yard. I don’t particularly want to buy cement, sand and rock separately because then I have to haul it all separately to the work area from in front of the garage. I also don’t want to have to load and use the heavier (94lb) bags of cement. Bag concrete is 60 lbs per bag. I can’t use redi-mix concrete ($68/yard) because I can’t place the wet concrete fast enough to keep it from setting up in the truck or in my wheelbarrow. There may not be an easy or practical solution to this problem, but I’m throwing it up here for comment anyway, just in case somebody thinks of something I haven’t considered. I do have a cement mixer.

2 Comments:

At 9:11 PM, Blogger Galen said...

Been following your project. I've been looking at the dry stack method myself, but haven't found anyone locally who knows anything about it. Looks like you're making good progress. In regards to your concrete question, I have a 5x8 box trailer I have divided and dumped the sand in one side and cement in the other. Maybe a pickup box trailer or two? It's hard to think of anything that wouldn't cost or be too big to fit by your garage, but then you knew that! Barrels, on a skid pallet? Good luck. I'll keep wathcing to see how it goes.

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger Ed Abbey said...

By the way, I saw that my last two comments were left anonymously by accident.

I agree with Galen. Short of finding some way to get your materials (i.e. sand and rock) closer to where you work, I think you are stuck with the price for the convenience of bagged mixes.

When setting posts, I just pour the dry concrete in the hole and add or allow moisture to set it up but I definitely wouldn't use this method for building my house.

Thanks for the update.

 

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