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.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bond Beam

It’s been a long time since my last update, but while a lot of work has been going on, very little of it would show up well in pictures. So, finally something worth looking at.

The south wall bond beam was finished about a week ago and we filled the east wall bond beam today. I am amazed at how much concrete it takes to fill the bond beam. I finally started buying gravel and sand and Portland cement separately and mixing my own, and boy am I glad I did. Using Quikcrete 60 lb bags was running about $160 a yard and using separate ingredients cut the cost down to about $75 a yard. Why didn’t I go to this idea sooner?

Our local building supply had a 17% off sale on St. Patrick’s Day so I bought all my surface bonding cement on sale for right at $12 a bag (35 bags). Lowes wanted I think $16 a bag. I found an engineering study on the internet that had a recipe for homemade surface bonding cement. I started pricing all the individual ingredients (about 6) and everything was looking promising until I got to calcium stearate, which is the water proofing agent in the cement. I found two prices for it, but it was prohibitive and made the home grown recipe economically unattractive. So, I went with the store bought stuff. But, I at least wanted to try to see if I could save much making it myself.

Pics one and two are the south wall bond beam. Pic three is the east wall. The east wall concrete was still wet in the pics, having just been poured. At the far end of the east wall is the framing for the lintel beam over the basement room door. It will be discussed in my next post.

My girlfriend poured the mud and smoothed the top off while I would keep the cement mixer going. It took me about as long to mix up a batch as it took her to use it up.