The Foundation

Ready for the foundationWe had delivered the plans and received a building permit to create the new headquarters for Digital Solutions.  We planned on leasing the front six thousand square feet to Digital Solutions Laboratories.  We needed three offices and a common room.  Below the offices we would have a meeting room, training room and kitchen.  Behind the sole remaining wall we would eventually build sleeping quarters for our family.

With the assistance of Doug Helmsing and Wayne Robinson, we had come up with a design of a twenty- by fifty-foot platform thirteen feet in the air.  The main room would be forty-five feet by eighty feet.  This would leave half of the room open floor to ceiling. 

After Doug & Curt broke out the chalk and lasers we began cutting open the load bearing areas of the concrete pad.  The original pad was only four to six inches thick.  We needed footings or their equivalent.  We were pretty sure that we would not be doing "traditional footings" on this project.  We had four foundation walls and two posts to support the structure.  We cut our trenches to expose the existing plumbing also. There was an issue having to do with "orange pipe" that easily collapses and we needed to repair that also.

After we cut the concrete we rented a miniature backhoe and used Doug Helmsing's Uncle's bob cat.  Perry had a lot fun driving the giant (to him) backhoe in the yard.  With hindsight he may have been a bit young but fortunately no one under 21 was hurt in this story.

Ok,,, back to the concrete fun.  We found a bed of sand approx two feet deep under the Caveland slab.  We used shovels, equipment, wheel barrows and more to remove all of the sand and expose the main sewage trunk as well as bedrock under all our future walls.  With bedrock sitting two feet below our floors there was really no need to put in traditional footings.  We had been right in our expectations.  Curt had a meeting with Happy Welch who had recommended we simply do a monolithic poor of concrete in the two foot by two foot holes we had already dug. 

Curt and Doug drilled down in the bedrock and hung vertical and horizontal 5/8" rebar in the load bearing trenches and holes.  We also ordered the concrete with the fiber reinforcement included.  We later learned that using rebar and the fiber reinforcement that we had excessively over engineered the strength needed here.  One or the other would have been fine.

We contacted our local building inspectors to come out and do the site preparation inspection.  We were ready to pour.