Strawbale House

This blog is intended to chart our progress through the self-build process, from half-hearted plot-hunting through to completion of the build. The twist is that we're building the house from timber and straw (hence the blog title).

Click on the image at the end of each post to see that day's photos.

Monday, 11 June 2007

June 11th - Concrete pouring

At last summer has arrived. For the past week large parts of the country have been basking in sunshine and temperatures in the mid 20s, while in Kelso the daily mist has lifted around tea-time. mountains of damp laundry clutter the house. But today was oh, so different!
Went over to the plot around noon to wait for the first load of concrete, which arrived after about half an hour. Each wagon from Blinkbonny Quarry brought between eight and nine cubic metres, or rather, the ingredients to make up eight or nine "cubes". Unusually, the Blinkbonny trucks mix the concrete on-site (see below), meaning that you only pay for what is used, rather than trying to calculate accurately in advance what will be needed.
Spent a few hours with Gregor and a succession of drivers pouring, levelling, cadjoling and smoothing, until I had to leave to get to Travis Perkins before closing time to pay for tomorrows delivery of blocks, sand and cement. Whoops, forgot to mention lunch. Anna turned up with Toby and Oscar and a picnic, which we ate on a rug spread on the rocky ground, watching the pouring. Not very picturesque, or peaceful, but at least Anna now has an idea of how it's all going.
By the time I left the trenches had swallowed something like 26 cubic metres, and to my eye would only need another couple. When I arrived today, the west-end trench had collapsed (see first picture), meaning more bloody concrete! Total looks like being about 30 cubes, at £68.50 each = £2055 + VAT, and that's before the cost of buying and laying the blocks, then filling the cavity to ground level with yet more concrete. Thinking of having a glass floor so at least I can appreciate where all the money went!

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