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Majic31 07-06-2009 04:09 PM

Majic's Concord Ontario 42" WFO
3 Attachment(s)
Hello all,
As so many have done before me, I've lurked and read, and wondered, and had answered (without asking) so many questions on this forum. Thank you all.
I should probably still be reading and not doing, but patience isn't my greatest virtue.
I started my build 3 weeks ago, but a general lack of confidence in my building abilities lead me to originally decide not to post.... Well I've changed my mind...
My mistakes might save someone else the same headaches, so I'll embarrass myself in a public forum:) Who knows, but my general lack of ability combined with my willingness to act, might inspire some other lurker to spring into action.

On to the build -

I had planned on simply installing a floating slab on some sono tubes... and asked my brother-in-law if he would give me a hand...That's when the real work started....
He insisted on footings 4.5' deep and block foundation walls in return for his help... We get severe frost along with considerable snow, and he pointed out it was going to be a lot of work and money to just have it shift/crack after the first year or two. I had to agree.

So - on to the first mistake.....

I hired some landscapers with a Kubota backhoe to dig my foundation hole. I should have hired professional excavators instead.
I'm extending my pool deck area out to the side to include the WFO and hopefully a brick, wood fired barbecue with some counter space.
I needed a hole 4' wide by 25' long by 4' deep. In the center (sort of like a mishaped letter 'T') it would be 6'8" by 7'10".

I asked them to dig me a trench the width of the 18" bucket by 1' deep all around the trench, so I could pour cement footings directly into the trench without building any wood forms.

Because these guys weren't excavators, I ended up with a hole that was not a uniform depth, but went from 5' to a maximum of 5'6"...(probably my fault for not staying right there - but my wife grabbed the opportunity to have me haul wheelbarrows of the topsoil they were digging to the front lawn to create a raised flowerbed for her; and the mistake was made)
As well, the 'T' section ended up 13" too narrow and I didn't realize until after they had gone.... I ended up spending the better part of the next day digging by hand to get some straight walls and sufficient width for my footings.
Then I had to backfill some and rent a "jumping jack" to compact the soil to get the proper depth.
After building wood forms (that I hadn't planned on), and levelling them, we called for a cement truck.

Majic31 07-06-2009 04:17 PM

Majic's Concord Ontario 42" WFO
4 Attachment(s)
We poured 2 cubic metres of cement for our footings (3 of us with wheelbarrows from the truck at the curb, and my brother-in-law screeding and levelling). Then I ordered the cement blocks. We used just over 240 blocks (don't have an exact number - I was too tired hauling them from the driveway to the back and lost count)
I had intended on drystacking them and filling the cores, but we had to use so much mortar to level them, that we decided to just carry on with the mortar to the height we needed.

Majic31 07-06-2009 04:24 PM

Majic's Concord Ontario 42" WFO
3 Attachment(s)
Not sure how many can appreciate how much dirt comes out of a hole that size...or how much is left over after you backfill....
I spent 2 1/2 full days from morning to evening by myself backfilling.. then I used a hose and flooded the area inside and out to get it to settle and re-filled the settled areas...
I just finished the backfilling around 6pm tonight... and I'm going to flood it again tomorrow, to see if I can get it to take anymore of the pile of dirt I've got left over.

Another mistake -
I had ordered a ton of concrete sand to be used to fill the cores at the same time as the blocks... and it was delivered and dumped in my driveway where it still sits.... I've decided I'm going to fill the cores after all, and use up the sand.

wronguy 07-07-2009 05:41 PM

Re: Majic's Concord Ontario 42" WFO
Looks great, I made a similar mistake and ordered 10 ton of cement crush. I look forward to more pics

Majic31 07-14-2009 07:29 PM

Re: Majic's Concord Ontario 42" WFO
Just to update this thread with what I've been doing...
(the fun never stops.....)

I did fill the cores using up the left over cement and sand....
Then we did a vertical measurement to see how high to build our forms for the cement slab pour so as to come vertically even with the pavers around the pool area..... I would have needed a 9" slab !!!

I didn't want that much cement (or to pay that much either)... so I managed to find some 4" cement blocks (you'd think they would be called 1/2 blocks - but NO, they're called Ashlar blocks....and they're just over 3 1/2" high)
I called nearly a half dozen building supply centres before I located them... and they cost me more per block than the full sized 8x8x16" ones...
We mortared a layer of Ashlar blocks on the top of the retaining wall and it looks good - I'm back to the 5" slab I originally wanted...
The bonus was using up some more of the mountain of clay dirt to backfill....
(did I say "bonus"? it's a lot of work)
Next step - build the forms for the cement slab.... 3 weeks and I'm still nowhere near where I thought I would be starting from....
You just KNOW I love my pizza ;)

DrakeRemoray 07-14-2009 10:23 PM

Re: Majic's Concord Ontario 42" WFO
Looking forward to seeing it all, keep the pictures coming!


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