(Don't try this at home.)
What can I say? One of the first things you do when you build a house is prepare a foundation for it to stand upon. You must take in to consideration all possible load factors and forces of nature that may affect the stability and life span of your project.
We were excited to open up the concrete floor, unsure what we would find concealed underneath for the last fifty years. The City of Festus and I had discussed that traditional "Footings" really are structurally intended to mimic the stability of Bed Rock. Well as close as possible. Very few would match the strength of true bedrock. When we opened the floor up we knew that we needed the front wall, the sheer wall, and the back wall to be "Load Bearing." We also intended to change out all of the old plumbing. Check out the plumbing page for a dirty story....
We discovered that between 24 and 32 inches below our 4 to 6 inch concrete slab was bedrock, sometimes flat and sometimes bumpy. Speaking with the building inspector at the time, (Happy Welch) we agreed that if I used a technique called ‘monolithic pour’ in a 24X24, I could simply take the footings as far down as the bedrock. We used 5/8" Rebar horizontally and Vertically drilled 8 inches in to bedrock with fiberglass reinforcement added to our mix... In other words, bring on the tank....
So we cut our trench, replaced plumbing and refilled the plumbing track where the slab would only be a slab. We tamped the sand areas with a tamping machine. Then the Trucks showed up.
There is a picture of Doug, Curt & Perry looking a little nervous as the first truck backs up. We fondly refer to the picture as "The Dream Team." I’ll bet you can guess which picture we are talking about.
The longest day of my life to date was the day the trucks showed up. I have profound respect for concrete workers. The physical requirement had me truly fearing for my life. My heart was pumping like mad. We had to wheelbarrow close to two full truckloads of concrete. Funny stuff, NO BREAKS ALLOWED. You must start, process and finish within a given time frame. If your crete is too wet it will dry weak, if it is too dry it will begin to set prior to being processed.......... I joke all the time about the EBay ad that reads:
Concrete Tools, Used Once!