Last time, we shared a couple of the steps we went through for prepping the new foundation. But that was just the beginning. Once we were ready, it was time to call in the professionals. We’re willing to do quite a bit ourselves, but sometimes you have to know when to say when.
Step 3: Prep new footers for concrete and pour
While our contractors did most of the work for this step, we were on site to help out and answer any questions. In fact, to get started we took care of marking the center of each future post. Using a laser level and batter boards, we hung weights to show the concrete guys where the rebar reinforcements needed to go.
After that, the contractors took over. They sprayed each hole with a termite barrier. (After seeing all the termite damage that we are going to need to take care of, we are happy to have this safety measure in place.) Then they lined each hole with plastic sheeting and set the rebar. A grid lines the bottom of each hole, and a four post upright locks in the block that will sit on top of the footer.
Once all that was done, it was time for our first inspection, which we are happy to report went well. In fact, the inspector came and went without our even knowing it! Usually, we like to be present for an inspection in case there are any problems or questions, but we’ll take the pass and move on. 🙂
After that, we just had to wait for the concrete. We had used our concrete contractor to pour our driveway a couple of years ago and were very happy with our experience, so we were glad to be able to work with him again.
After they took care of their work, this is what we had. Because these footers will not be exposed, it wasn’t necessary to build forms, which saved us quite a bit of time.
Step 4: Build block foundation
Once the concrete had set, it was time to get someone in to set the block. We are lucky enough to have a family connection to an excellent mason, who was kind enough to squeeze us into his already full schedule. Unfortunately, we had a rain delay and some cold temps. (The wind chill was actually below freezing! Floridians do not like that kind of weather.) But the masons eventually made it and got right to work.
While they were preparing, we had a few things to take care of to make their job easier. We double-checked and reset any strings that had moved to show the the center of each block. We also moved some of the strings to show the corner location, rather than the center, for the blocks that will be under outside walls. Hopefully, this will ensure that everything lines up the way it is supposed to when it comes time to sheath and side the house.
Here you can see a close-up of how they used the strings to guide their placement.
Once they finished working, we had something like this going on.
Above, you can see the stem wall on top of which we will be rebuilding the enclosed back porch. These blocks are just the right height for building the new structure level with the original house. (Read next week for more info about what we needed to do to get ready to replace the enclosed porches on the front and back of the house.)
A slightly more challenging task for the contractor was laying the block under the existing house. He made sure the new block allows space for a termite barrier, a board, and any shims necessary to keep the whole house level. (We’ll use thin pieces of steel as shims where needed.)
Another inspection comes next, and then we will call the concrete guys back in to fill in these blocks and lock everything into place. While that is happening, we’ll be prepping the new foundation for the rebuild of the front porch. As soon as that is done, we’ll be ready to start framing. Exciting times!