Preparing for Concrete

After nearly a week of no work on site, today is supposed to be a quick tidy up of the footings, fitting the Claymaster boards and fitting the gates on the front of the ex-garage.  Matt is booked to come and do most of the work as I need to go to the office.  Unfortunately as I open the site for Matt I am greeted with this…

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The footings have collapsed in one corner of the trench.  Disaster!  There is no way that Matt can work alone today so I need to clear my diary.

Matt and I considered our options and decided to try using a bucket, rope and brute force, but after 5 minutes that was clearly a non-starter.  The wet clay was FAR too heavy to move around the pit and to drag 2.5 metres up in a bucket.  A quick call to our friends at Aylesbury Plant Hire and we had a 2.5 tonne digger onsite within an hour.  I also called Jewsons and asked if they could deliver 6 sheets of 8ft x 4ft 12mm ply so that we could shore up the corner and stop it collapsing any more.  Amazingly they too had it onsite within 2 hours.  Awesome.

Now armed with the digger we were able to scoop a bunch of the soil out but the bulk of it simply had to be shovelled into the digger bucket.  Matt and I took turns to shovel / drive.  Eventually the pit was clean enough for us to put up the plywood and shore the corner up nicely.2014-11-12 13.17.25

Our next task was to install the Claymaster 75mm polystyrene sheets.  There aren’t any obvious fixings available for these, and in any case we were trying to fix to clay which is not the most reliable fixing medium!  Earlier in the week I ordered some 225 mm screws and a bunch of Insulation discs normally used to pin insulation on the inside of a cavity wall.  I’d accounted for six of these fixings per board backed up with Gaffer Tape!

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A short while later and all the Claymaster boards were in place.  Surprisingly it was now 4pm already and I had to shoot off and collect the Hardcore Vibrators (!) for tomorrow, oh and then go to the office to do some work!!!  Fingers crossed that nothing else collapses tonight and the trenches hold good until tomorrow when the concrete is coming.  It’s too late to cancel now!

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