Archive for November, 2008

Swimming Pool Takes Shape (Gunite)

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

After the Thanksgiving holiday, Michael’s team was in place to put the gunite into the pool. This was quite an operation, with a large 850 cfm air compressor on a truck, towing a mixer and pump.

Michael and Bryan reviewed the plans to ensure everything was in place and ready for gunite.

Michael and Bryan review plans

Michael and Bryan review plans

Starting to gunite the swimming pool

Starting to gunite the swimming pool

The sand and cement is mixed and then pumped through a large hose to the pool forms. The operator controls the nozzle where water is mixed with the sand/cement material and sprayed against the forms over the rebar.

Spraying Gunite

Spraying Gunite

After seeing the process, we then loaded the truck and headed off to join the gang cutting Christmas trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

This was the fourth annual Christmas Tree Cutting event, which has been described as an ‘upscale tail gate party’. It was a fabulous California blue-sky day in the Santa Cruz Mountains. We had approximately 45 children and adults enjoying the afternoon.

Yes, the post-party party was at the Calise residence back in Los Gatos.

Beams Arrive and Collating Plans at City Hall

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

It is the day before Thanksgiving and two significant events are happening.

First, the two steel beams are arriving so the existing east and west walls can be supported during the excavation of the basement.  It is critical to keep these walls in place safely, so people on the job site are safe.  The beams arrive at 8:30 am!

Keeping the Truck Clean

Keeping the Truck Clean

Second, is to collate the sheets that make up my building plan submission.  With almost 50 sheets, some of which are 30 inches by 42 inches, this is a non-trivial exercise.  However, the City of Monte Sereno was kind and allowed me to spread out the plans in the Council Chambers so I could collate the submission.  I was reminded that they needed a complete set of plans to approve.  Consequently, this became a high-priority item for me.

Collating plans in Council Chambers

Collating plans in Council Chambers

Completed Concrete Haunch and Rebar in Swimming Pool

Friday, November 21st, 2008

The forms came off the concrete haunches today and they look good.

Completed concrete haunch in south-west corner.

Completed concrete haunch in south-west corner.

Next step is for the steel I-beams to arrive and be placed on the concrete haunches.

Meanwhile, Michael Benison’s team was rockin’ with the rebar in the swimming pool.

Rebar in swimming pool.

Rebar in swimming pool.

The workers would bend the #3 rebar (3/8 inch in diameter) with a special tool that they have.  This is exactly how the rebar will need to be bent at a 90 degree angle once the hollow core concrete panels are in place.

Bending #3 rebar at a 90 degree angle.

Bending #3 rebar at a 90 degree angle.

Done!

Done!

My friend, Roshan, dropped by the job site to inspect the project.  He thought it was going well and approved the work (so far).

Roshan approves the progress to date.

Roshan approves the progress to date.

Pouring Concrete into Haunches and Completing Plumbing Rough-In for Pool

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Bill Brown’s team and Michael Benison’s team continued to work in parallel on site in complete harmony.

Thanksgiving is approaching rapidly and, as they say, ‘pressure makes diamonds.’

Pouring Concrete into Haunches

There was a small pumper truck for the haunches. Everything was set up nicely and the pouring was completed.

Small pumper with mixer for haunches.

Small pumper with mixer for haunches.

Pumping concrete into haunches.

Pumping concrete into haunches.

Completing Plumbing Rough-In for Pool

The plumbing for the swimming pool continued to progress nicely.

West side of pool where cover will go.

West side of pool where cover will go.

Looking east with plumbing rough-in.

Looking east with plumbing rough-in.

Michael advised me to move the inspection well to the north side of the pool (from the west side). This allowed us to take advantage of the existing excavation.

Inspection well rough-in.

Inspection well rough-in.

Next step is for the City of Monte Sereno to inspect the plumbing rough-in and the rebar in the swimming pool.

Forming Haunches to Support Wall and Re-Shaping Pool

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

We have two activities going on in parallel – Bill Brown’s team is making the forms for the five concrete piers that will support the existing walls; and Michael Benison’s team is re-shaping the swimming pool.

Concrete Forms

The five piers that will support the I-beam that will, in turn, hold the existing walls in place need to be formed above grade. This required making the forms out of sono-tubes and building the custom rebar cages.

The City of Monte Sereno made some changes to the plans for the rebar cages.

Red-lined changes to the plans for the rebar cages.

Red-lined changes to the plans for the rebar cages.

The rebar cages need to be inspected prior to pouring the concrete above grade.

Forms for concrete haunches.

Forms for concrete haunches.

Rebar inside forms.

Rebar inside forms.

Rebar inside forms.

Forms for Re-Shaping Existing Swimming Pool

Michael’s team was at the back of the property, busy re-shaping the existing pool.

Pool excavation looks good.

Pool excavation looks good.

Drilling the Final 5 Piers to Support Our Walls

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Of the 25 concrete piers that are required, 5 of those piers will support steel beams that will, in return, support the existing walls of the house.

All of the piers have been completed, except these final five piers. Until now, the rebar cages have been 30 ft long, now the rebar cages are 38 ft long.

More rain is forecasted so today is (another) big day.

The driller picks up the first 38 ft rebar cage.

The driller picks up the first 38 ft rebar cage.

The driller moves from the back of the site to the front, with the rebar cage.

Moving to the front of the site with the rebar cage.

Driller moves to the front of the site with the rebar cage.

And positions the cage to be lowered into the hole.

Positioning the rebar cage over the hole.

Positioning the rebar cage over the hole.

Guiding the rebar cage into the hole (note the plastic spacers to keep the rebar cage at least 3 inches from the side of the hole).

Guiding the rebar cage into the hole.

Guiding the rebar cage into the hole.

Putting on more plastic spacers.

Pausing to put more plastic spacers on the rebar cage.

Pausing to put more plastic spacers on the rebar cage.

The first extended rebar cage is now in position.

First rebar cage is now in position.

First rebar cage is now in position.

With the cage in position, we need the concrete pumper truck and a mixer with concrete.

Concrete pumper and mixer in place, ready to pump concrete.

Concrete pumper and mixer in place, ready to pump concrete.

Here is the entire team, pumping concrete into the hole.

Mixer, pumper truck and drill.

Mixer, pumper truck and drill.

The tremie is at the bottom of the hole and we’re pumping concrete (note the operator with the wireless console).

Pumping concrete into the hole.

Pumping concrete into the hole.

Of course, both the soils engineer and structural engineer were on site to observe and verify that the process was being completed by the contractors as per the specifications that were approved by the City of Monte Sereno.

Engineers on site inspecting the concrete piers.

Engineers on site inspecting the concrete piers.

Thien Dong (Duquette Engineering) and Jerry Freeman (JF Consulting).

Thien Doan (Duquette Engineering) and Jerry Freeman (JF Consulting).

Here is a great photo of the casing being removed from the hole with the tremie in the background, waiting to be lowered back into the hole and complete pumping the concrete.

Removing casing from hole with tremie in background.

Removing casing from hole with tremie in background.

We’re almost done. Here you can see the east side being completed.

Casing coming out of hole with tremie in background.

Casing coming out of hole with tremie in background.

And we’re almost done.

Bryan managing a big smile as we're nearing completion on a beautiful, blue-sky California day.

Bryan managing a big smile as we

Bryan managing a big smile as were nearing completion on a beautiful, blue-sky California day.

Bryan managing a big smile as we're nearing completion of the drilling on this beautiful, blue-sky California day.