Shirley asked me to add the commentary to her construction photos on this post.
On Tuesday this week James Robertson, chief building inspector for the Capital Regional District came for his first inspection so we could pour concrete. His first words when he got out of his car were, "Who is responsible for the wonderful driveway?" I told him it was mostly me, as I had brought over 55 loads of gravel from Victoria on my truck and my wife and I shovelled them off by hand. I told him it was the nicest compliment he could have given me. He was also very favourably impressed with the foundation preparations and the rebar columns. He was surprised to learn that we had done all the rebar stirrups ourselves and thought it all looked very professional. I told him we learned how to do rebar in Mexico when we built an orphanage there.
Within five minutes after the building inspector left we had the cement mixer running. Shirley and I worked for two hours straight and did the footing concrete in Foundation #3 and then #1... averaging one wheelbarrow of concrete every five minutes. Notice the size of the pile of gravel. Before we had supper that whole pile was turned into concrete.
Check out the join of the foundation to the paved driveway. When we pulled off the forms we were very pleased.
We took a day off to go to Victoria to get some more gravel. Then on Friday Tyler came back again for the afternoon and we mixed up some "real mud" which we used to backfill Foundation #3. I was concerned about getting the hole backfilled so every nook and cranny was full... and just dumping dirt and gravel in didn't seem to me that it would be tight enough. So we mixed our backfill dirt and gravel with half strength cement powder.
We made it extra wet so that it flowed easily into the outside corners.
The next day when the concrete had set I knew we had done the right thing for backfilling this foundation. We used three bags of cement in the mud for this cavity.
This is getting very exciting, it is very thrilling to see it evolve day by day.
"A great building must begin with the unmeasurable, must go through measurable means when it is being designed and in the end must be unmeasurable." - Louis Kahn