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April 3, 2016 / JustinKays Porter

Concrete Pour

3… 2… 1… We have concrete! That’s kind of like we have lift off, because we are officially out of the dirt. Not that we are done getting dirty, playing in the dirt, or dealing with a house full of dirt; we’re just done digging. For the time being.

My dad and Uncle Todd spent most of last week preparing for the pour, and Justin spent every night checking and double checking concrete quantities and orchestrating the concrete delivery. I just bribed people to come help us with donuts and coffee. It all seemed to work out, and come Friday at 7 am we had 8 able-bodied gentlemen willing to help us schlep the concrete hose around the yard, trowel the concrete into submission, and drink all my beer!

To be honest, before everything started I thought we had a few too many hands. But everyone stayed busy and we were very grateful to have all the help. We were finished pouring concrete by 10:30. And when I say we, I mean those 8 able-bodied gentlemen. I mostly took photos and kept everyone “hydrated.”


We started with the footing under the house.

Then moved to the two footings on the front porch…

Then to the stem wall and interior footings in the backyard…



And finally, the troweling. Lots of troweling!

Thanks to Justin’s careful planning, we were very close on our concrete numbers. Sadly, we were about one-third of a yard short of concrete! That was enough for one of the interior footings to not get poured. So close, yet so far… but a quick trip to the depot and a wheelbarrow later, we were all set.

Throughout the morning, our abandoned septic tank became a blessing in disguise. It was the perfect place to clean out concrete hoses and tools. Without that, some part of the yard would have become a huge mess.

The rest of the afternoon was spent troweling and removing most of the stakes holding the forms up. Throughout the day, we had lots of visitors stop by to observe and direct the activities. We even had an impromptu dinner party later in the evening!


Saturday morning, Justin, Matt, and my dad stripped the forms while Kimmi, my mom, and I started backfilling around the new footings. We had arranged to have someone come pick up all of our used forms (thank you craigslist and Uncle Jeff!), so the guys helped him load up the truck. Then it was backfill for all six of us. All that dirt had to go back into that hole.

Because we had given away our used forms, we were able to get away with one light load to the dump with miscellaneous leftover junk. At some point during the activities (I honestly don’t remember when or how), a water pipe had broken under the house. I don’t have details for you, but it happened and my dad and Justin went under the house into the “dead dirt” to swear at it and fix it. My mom and I continued to backfill and clean up, and by the end of the day we had working water and about 90 percent of our backfill was done.


And that, my friends, is how you pour a foundation and clean up after yourself in two days. With lots and lots of help!!



One Comment

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  1. Nancy Porter / Apr 4 2016 6:57 am

    Wow! Your detailed planning paid off again! (Proud of you) I’m glad you got pics of the hole you had to cut in the hallway to pour the footing under the house. It’s great to have so much help. Are you tracking your labor costs – i.e. cost of coffee, donuts, beer??? 🙂 And it’s great that you were able to unload your forms. Whoddathunk? Can’t wait for the next edition!

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