Saturday, June 13, 2015

A step closer to pouring...

Today we found the tension cables in place.  Once the concrete has been poured and cured a few days, these cables will be used to set the entire structure under tension.  The tension which the cables will place on the slab will be in the neighborhood of 12,000 to 15,000 pounds per square inch (psi) (80-100 million Pascals).

Tension cables are now in place.  One can see the cables are at multiple levels in the "trenches".

This is a terminating end, with rebar to aid in flexibility in the vicinity of the tension being applied.

This is the only rebar I have found near surface.  This is the porte-cochere, and my guess is that it is being used this way since this area connects two separate structures: the main house and the multi-use two-car garage.

On Tuesday, electrical lines/conduit will be laid complete with in-floor electrical outlets.  Come Wednesday, the pouring of concrete commences.  I plan to make a day of it.

Thanks for joining us.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A nice surprise....

After the plumbing had been placed and verified, we knew things had to start moving.  We went out today and found things had been moving quite well.  I did not realize until this week that our slab is a "waffle slab", and in the pictures which follow, I think you will understand how it gets its name.  This style is especially advantages for strength when such large areas are being poured compared to traditional slabs.  Further, there are steel beams at the base of the "waffles" to lend strength and stability for load-bearing walls.  Here are some pictures as we happened upon our site today.

This picture is taken from the "walkway" toward the front door.  On the ground one can see the post-tension cabling which will be used to strengthen the overall structure.  Cement will be poured in the cracks and above the vapor barrier to form the foundation.  It is easy to see where this type of construction gets its reference to waffles.
This photo is taken across the diagonal of the five-car garage and casita.
This photo shows the depth of the "waffling".  By day's end tomorrow,
all the rebar and cabling will be in place.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

"Progress" is music...

My builder made additional progress this week.  We dropped in on the property today, and to our surprise, much of the plumbing has been laid in anticipation of pouring the slab!  Placing conduit for the electrical and laying the rebar will be next, but we do have a "pour date".  I do not know what it is yet, but our builder said he would be getting us one very soon.  After that, framing begins!

The pictures which follow show the plumbing, which also tells us more about the home layout.  Rather than wave our hands and say, "The kitchen is about here", we can now say, "Here is the kitchen sink and the island".  That being said, I will start with that photo.

The plumbing in the foreground is the kitchen island (large enough to be a kitchen 'continent'), and immediately behind it is the plumbing for the sink and refrigerator.

This photo is from the casita and five-car garage shooting into the main house from behind.  There are four bathrooms and a kitchen.

This picture is shot from "the driveway" near the front door toward the far corner of the casita.  The backdrop of trees shows both the beauty and density of foliage we will enjoy.

This is what we will see from our picture window at the rear of our house.  While there will be some "restorative landscaping" done back here, it will be left very natural.
We hope the weather will hold so we can get the foundation poured and begin framing ASAP.  Thanks for coming along!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Dry week ahead!

Many Texans throughout the state are glad for a break from the steady rain and rising waters.  They can begin putting their lives back together.  For those families who lost loved ones to these dangerous waters, we extend our sympathies.

I am excited that we have some clear weather so that we can further progress on the house.  I hope we can get the utilities in place and perhaps even get some foundation poured.  That might be a little too optimistic, I know, but the clouds of pessimism have been around long enough.

We'll see what happens.  As long as we keep moving forward, all will be well.