23 December 2016

Walk Out basement

I needed to make a walk out basement.  I started digging by hand.  I needed the exercise.  I didn't have anything else to do this summer.  Then I got sick of digging by hand and rented a mini-excavator. 

Next came the footers.

I built the forms for the retaining walls on top of the footers and tied the re-bar into the footing re-bars.

The retaining walls took somewhere around 24 yards of concrete.  They are almost 14' high from the top of the footers.  My forms failed.  Luckily it wasn't a complete failure.  Everything stayed vertical.  I spent several weeks jack hammering the walls straight and then plastering over all the wall surfaces.  I fixed them.

Now the walls are straight.  The finish turned out very rough but I can go back and put on a second coat after winter is over.  

I put in a door at the bottom of the stairs.

This is how I reinforced the stairs.  These are my forms.  I put more bracing on after I took the pictures because I didn't want the forms to blow out again.  I made sure I doweled into the foundation so that if the earth underneath the steps settles, the steps won't sink down.

I mixed all the concrete for the steps and platforms by hand.  The first pour I did the bottom and top platforms.  The next pour I did the 4 top steps.  The last pour I, and my helper, did the 10 bottom steps.  I had to torch the wet concrete to get it to cure fast enough before the night freeze came on.  It worked fine on the platforms and top steps, but we over did it on the 10 bottom steps.  I had 2 torches going and the bottom steps set up quicker than I wanted them to.  

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