Pouring the Base for the Second Basement Column

Liz and I had a pretty full day today. We started off our morning with joint dentist appointments with Dr. Heath in Frankfort at 8:00 AM (which is about 45 minutes away from Chicago).

We then stopped at a UPS store to drop off some packages, stopped in at a Jewel-Osco to replace our iPass transponder, and then went to a Mariano’s to do some serious grocery shopping. We then went to Home Depot to make some returns, and to pick up an order we had placed online (for bags of cement, and other miscellaneous items).

After that, we drove back home and pulled into the driveway around noon. We then unloaded everything, and proceeded to clean the house. Liz also prepped some food, in anticipation of an early dinner.

Around 4PM, Bob and Julie showed up to help us with some work in the basement.

Downstairs, Bob cleared out and tamped the hole we dug… and placed the frame I made.

Then, he cut some rebar and tied the pieces together. I’m bummed I didn’t get some video of the process (I was using my phone as a light while he worked), but if you want to see what it looked like… this video is a good frame of reference.

Liz, getting some cement prepped while Bob looks on.

I referenced the day when we poured the cement for the back basement, but I overlooked the fact that my notes were for two bags of cement. Luckily, we needed a lot to fill the frame, so things ended up working out for us.

Despite us being good with the cement, Liz and I were out of practice. With our first bag, both of us were quite timid and slow. But as we kept working, we became more confident.

The first layers of cement, with the rebar dropped in.

When I saw this, I remarked to Bob that it looked like we should play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. After a brief pause, Bob say “Let’s do it.”

And so we played a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. Bob started off in the top right corner, and I lost soon after (should have blocked with the center square). I guess it’s good that we played the game at this level, since it’ll be mostly covered up. And the only people who will see that I lost will be folks 75-100 years from now.

We ended up mixing several bags of concrete, before all was said and done. At first, Liz and I were definintely hesitant – but with each subsequent bag, we both got back into the swing of things again.

Working in the basement felt really good tonight, and I walked away from the evening feeling really proud of myself and Liz. While we had Bob on hand to help advise/guide us, Liz and I fell back into our familiar cement mixing routine.

At first Bob was helping and making recommendations. But with each subsequent mix, he pulled back and let Liz and I determine when things were ready, and when we should pour.

For much of the evening, Liz and I knew the different tasks involved and we were in a good rhythm. It was good to have Bob around, but looking back… we likely could have done a lot of the work ourselves.

Before finishing, Liz found the plastic blue cylinder we had stored – and Bob cut it to size. After finalizing the placement of the ring using a plumb bob… we had a frame for the column that would sit atop the base we just poured.

The awesome thing is that, with Liz finding the cylinder, Bob was able to do all the necessary prep work… leaving the next steps entirely in our hands.

We’ll be waiting a few days for the concrete to set. And on Monday or Tuesday night, we’ll pour the second round and set a column atop the base. After we do the second pour and level out all the sand… we’ll be ready for Bob to come back and help jack up the house again.

Liz and I had a really good work session. Rather than just standing around watching Bob, the two of us knew our roles and knew what needed to get done. It felt like we did a lot, and felt like we had learned a lot over the prior cement pours we’d done.

After the concrete was poured, we all went upstairs to the kitchen. Liz made some custom turkey burgers (with cheese on the inside), along with some lentils. Julie brought over some mashed potatoes, as well as a large Caeser’s salad.

It’s been a while since the four of us have shared a home cooked meal at our house, and it was nice to kick back a bit and visit.

Julie and Bob were tired from their day, and Liz and I were tired from ours. But it felt good, knowing that all of us had a lot of progress made on our respective houses.

Busy day, today. Full day, today.

Prepping for a Second Column
Filling a Very Large Hole in the Basement
Serious Basement Work
Cement and Apple Pie
First Family Dinner

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