Thursday, June 6, 2013

Framing the Footings for Our Cabin

It's funny how quickly you can forget important details when you are an adult, but little things from your childhood are lifetime memories. My vacation Bible school teachers will all be tickled to know that when Grandpa wasn't talking to me, I spent much of the time working on the footings with "The Wise Man Built his House Upon the Rock" running through my head like an earworm...
After we had poured a bit of concrete into the bottoms of the deepest pits on our cabin site, I thought it would be instructive and valuable to build up the remaining forms for the footing in their entirety. Surprisingly to me, Grandpa agreed that it was a good idea, and we made that our next priority.
First we completed a run of 1" by 4" boards around the outside perimeter. I made the inside dimension of this run 22' 4". This was to allow me to lay my concrete blocks centred on a 12" wide footing. I would have 2" on either side of the blocks.
In hindsight, I would have added on an additional 2". Having the inside dimension of this crib at exactly where I wanted the concrete poured meant that closing in the space below the crib would have to be done UNDER that 1" by 4" board. It would have been much easier to add on an inch all around, and then I could have simply dropped my enclosure down and attach it to the face of the board, rather than trying to fit it under and then using plates to tie it all together. Live and learn!
We spent two days working on this. It took much longer to box in the outside than the inside. As I suggested about adding the extra 2" on the outside crib, I *DID* think to deduct an additional inch for the inside crib, and so we were able to just drop our enclosure down inside the space, and screw it quickly and easily to the 1" by 4". Even if our enclosure is of uneven thickness (and it is - we used lots of scrap lumber for this), it ensures a 12" minimum thickness for the footing. Also, even if the enclosure boards come up a little short or uneven, the concrete pour will simply flow over top of these shortcomings and level up to the 1" by 4" top board.



As my father use to quote: "Nothing can go wrong... Nothing can go wrong..."
The mixing and pouring of concrete has really lost its allure to me now though. I called out a concrete ready-mix company to come and look at my situation. It is clear that buying ready-mix for a project this size is more economical than making it myself, even when my aggregate is free! Of course, looking at my location, it is too remote currently to bring a truck close enough. Grandpa thinks that we could likely get the truck halfway up my driveway, and then haul concrete back and forth from there in my wagon with the tractor pulling. I'm still not enthused with that idea. Currently the tractor is again our of commission due to a flat tire. I have managed to locate the last two tires of that size in the country, and am having them shipped in at my expense. I don't want to rely on the tractor for something of this importance.
So that brings up the notion of building my driveway all the way to the cabin site. Something I never really considered seriously before, but discussing it with Donna only really reveals positive repercussions. I've called BJ Kapush, the fellow who did an awesome job at putting in our driveway as far as he did last year, and hopefully he can come out and assess what needs to be done, and give me a quote.
So now it looks like it may be time to advance the sauna work again.

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