Sep 052007

Last week, Brent’s crew removed the forms from the front wall on Wednesday and Thursday, and the results are finally visible. The foundation is finished! Except for a little touch up work, of course 🙂

On Wednesday, the left side of the front wall was exposed, and the rest of the formwork came down Thursday and Friday. The board texture looks great, the color (“French Brown”) looks great, and there is a bit of honeycombing (air pockets) that will need some filling. But all in all, we’re happy.


This gives you an idea of the range of textures. On the left, we got pretty nice and smooth board surfaces because 2”-thick boards were used. In the center of the front wall, the right side of this picture, you can seem that the texture varies more, because 1” boards were used for the forms. Some of this variation will be eliminated, because Brent’s crew is coming back with cold chisels to knock off the lips of concrete that squeezed out in between the boards. By the way, that’s our architect, Rich Dowd, running around with a big measuring tape.

Here is the inside of the right-hand garage, where some significant honeycombing occurred. This rough texture isn’t a structural problem, but we do want a smooth wall around the garage door. So Brent is coming back to apply a concrete slurry (with the right coloring) to the wall to fill in the air pockets.


The other thing you can see on this shot are the small holes left behind by the threaded rods and bolts that held the formwork in place. We’re going to leave those holes in place, since they are just part of the work, and they make a subtle geometric pattern on the face of each wall.

The whole thing looks “archeological”, as Brent commented. I’m surprised to see that concrete can have this variation in texture, and I think Brent was expecting a more even finish. Also, one wall bowed a bit, and is not perfectly flat and straight. We’re discussing ways of dealing with that, and I’ll have more details with my next update.

Ahhh, a foundation, at last. It’s taken 9 months almost exactly. Framing is starting tomorrow, and I’ve been busy lining up the next draw on our loan, plus an open account with our framer’s favorite lumber yard. We will need that to get the framing done.

By the way, Nancy and I just moved into an apartment, so we could be closer to the construction. We’ve been living with her parents for a year, far longer than we ever intended. By a very odd coincidence, we’ve ended up renting an apartment from our framer, Alex Rockas! So we’ve had the pleasure of meeting Alex and his wife Teri and their family, before we’ve gotten to know him professionally. Such a small world.

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