“Are you on vacation ALL week?”

That was the question that the concrete foreman asked Steve on Thursday afternoon, but we’re pretty sure that he was speaking for the entire crew.  After being away on business for a couple of weeks, Steve’s version of 1,000 questions seemed to be wearing everyone out.

On the bright side, here’s what we learned :

* “Why aren’t those drain pipes connected to those other pipes?”  – One set of pipes is for the assorted perimeter and downspout drains.  The other is for the all but inevitable radon system.

_DSF0530* “What are those cones in the forms for?” – Those are for waste water pipes on their way to the septic system.  They’re conical in order to give the plumber a little more wiggle room in installation.

_DSF0516* “What are the squares in the foundation floor for?” – Those are load bearing pads.  One for the fireplace, the others are for lally columns and structural support.

* “What’s that piece of metal for?” – It’s how we steer the concrete from the truck to the form.

_DSF0531* “What are the insulation bits in the forms for?” – Those create the pockets for the main carrying beam across the house.

* “Why do the geothermal pipes have to be separated from the well pipes?” – This one surprised us.  We thought it was because of any possible leak in the geothermal piping.  Which — technically — plays a role.  But the real reason is that the exit temperature of the  geothermal piping is really cold — below freezing cold.  And there are all sorts of horror stories of geothermal pipes freezing water pipe — and even foundations — that weren’t located correctly during installation.

And the upshot of all of this is that we now have concrete walls in the basement.  Monday should bring the waterproofer and we’ll insulate the walls on Tuesday.

With any luck, we’ll start framing the house by the weekend.  The garage / barn will start soon after…


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