Building the WashHouse – Footings & Floor


Building the WashHouse – Footings & Floor

by admin on Jul.11, 2004, under WashHouse

Water Needs

Water is needed to mix the concrete for the footings and piers.

We loaded two 32 gallon plastic trash containers into the back of the truck and headed for Seligman. There, we found the water standpipe, where for 25 cents, we were able to purchase 50 gallons of water.

Here, Randy is extracting the water from the containers into a garden sprayer we modified to work with a kitchen spray nozzle. That allows us to control the water flow very well, and also comes in handy for showers right now!

Siphoning Water

Mix Concrete

We dug out the footings to 18 inches, or until we hit solid rock, whichever came first. we’ve since been told that the frost line is 24 to 30 inches up here, but we have so much aggregates in the soil, I don’t think it will affect our structure much.

Here, we mix concrete in manageable batches to pour the footings and piers.

Mixing Concrete

Pour Footings

We used one 80 lb bag of concrete for each footing. After mixing and pouring it all in the hole, we tamped it and smoothed it out, allowing it to seek level.

Pouring Footings

Preparing Beams

Once the footings were in place, we continued by mounting the brackets to the beams.

Once the brackets were on the beams, we used jack stands to support the beams level over the footings with their bottoms a minimum of 12″ above the ground.

Mounting Beam Brackets

Bracket Hazard

Watch out for the little splinters on the bottom of these Simpson brackets. Most of them had some, and they were very sharp…

Bracket Hazard

Pour Piers

The footings were allowed to dry overnight, and we continued pouring the piers the next day.

The beams were set in place and leveled on jack stands before pouring the piers.

We eventually found it easier to scoop the concrete into the tubes with a trowel, instead of pouring it.

Pouring Piers

Beams Set

Here is where we ran into our first major mistake.

Our pre-measured size for the middle pier tubes was too short, and once the beams were in place, the concrete did not reach the bottom of the beams.

In addition, I mixed the concrete for the first pier too soupy. These two errors would end up biting us…

Beams Set

Broken Pier

We let the piers dry overnight.

When we began nailing the floor joist to the beams, the pier that was poorly constructed with a wet mix started crumbling.

I ended up chipping away the soft concrete until I found rebar and harder cement. Then we fit another tube around it and repoured the concrete for the two middle tubes (both of them were the short ones).

Hopefully that will fix our problem. We’ll let you know…

Broken Pier


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