Concrete is in the pole barn!
Our excavator came in on Tuesday to water the pad to ensure the surface was super-hard for a Thursday pour. Armed with this information, we drove down Wednesday night to see the show.
Early Thursday morning, the Shelton Concrete crew showed up and banged out laying the rebar in a couple hours. That’s #4 rebar spaced 32 on-center per the structural engineer, for the nerds out there.
It’s amazing how quickly the Shelton Concrete crew laid down 40×80 of rebar.
Grids of rebar and grids of lumber.
Friday morning the crew was onsite and ready to go again well before 8am. These guys are hard workers AND on time.
Then the show starts.
We called it the Concrete Circus – truck after truck from Fremont Paving showed up hauling a total of 243,000lbs of concrete (“mud” for the insiders and cool kids) by my calculations (40ft x 80ft x 6in thick).
One truck would be getting a wash-down after pouring while two more were inside the barn pouring concrete and two more were waiting outside to back in and unload while even more trucks were driving up the road with full loads.
I didn’t realize that this would be a massive full-scale assault, but it’s crazy impressive when you see it happen in front of you. So many things in this process have been wait-wait-wait, but this was in-your-face happening all at once. More our style than all this waiting!
A nice plus – our new recycled asphalt driveway is hard-packed like a freeway from all of the heavy truck weight.
If you’re short on time, this GoPro timelapse is the video to watch.
One truck getting a washdown, two slinging mud, and one waiting to back in.
Backing It In
Backing the concrete trucks into the barn
Four On One
Four Trucks, One Barn
These guys were great, I expected rough and gruff truck drivers but everybody was personable and good to talk to.
These plastic ladders lift the rebar to the right height to ensure that it’s in the center of the concrete.
The ladders keep the rebar at the right height.
Twenty-Four Feet Done
The Pour Has Started
Half and Half
Looking down at the work area from the drone.
Inside the Barn 1
Inside the Barn 1
Inside the Barn 2
Inside the Barn 2
Making it Smooth
Turning chunky sludge into a smooth surface.
Finishing The Door
The crew finishes up the side door.
Mixing It Up
A mix of smooth concrete and freshly poured mud.
Shining Things Up
Everybody takes a break waiting for the smoother to finish up.
It’s a lot of work making things shine
Reflection through the big carriage doors.
Two Fremont Paving trucks doing their thing. They control the concrete flow and move back and forth as necessary via hand signals from the guys working out back.
These power trowels are used for hours and hours to smooth and finish the surface.
In The Mud
Working up to the ankles in 6 inches of wet concrete.
When the non-stop convoy of trucks leave – the concrete crew spends hours power-troweling the surface to smooth and level it, then another round of troweling, then another and another and another. It’s a pretty long process to get things production-ready. After Colette interviewed 15-plus concrete contractors, we ended up picking Shelton Concrete based on a recommendation from our excavator Jim at Musso Excavating, and it definitely pays off to have personal recommendations where people put their reputation on the line. Thoroughly pleased with progress as we wind the day down.
Trowel at Work
They ran the power trowel for hours and hours to ensure a smooth and consistent finish.
The power trowel at work
Being the nerdy sort – I 3D-printed a C&J 2023 imprint, and we stamped the service door concrete pad with the entire concrete crew watching. Silly, but fun!
Stamping It In
I 3-D printed a custom concrete stamp with our initials and 2023.
Josh came back on Friday to make cuts in the concrete to prevent any potential cracks from spreading, and in another 30 days when the concrete has cured we can seal it and call it done!
Josh cuts saw lines every eight feet in the concrete surface to prevent any potential cracks from spreading.
Four Minutes of Cutting
Four minutes of the concrete saw in action.
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