MODERN FARMHOUSE – A DIY Homebuilding Project – Toil and Trouble

It was a beautiful day to pour concrete – cool and sunny.  All potential problems were cleared.  Our crew was ready at 6:00 am.  Nine trucks were ordered for a timed, orderly delivery.  All was routine.

Pump Truck set up

The pump truck arrived.  Normally the lot is dry, but we’ve had rain recently.  A steady trickle of water was running across the front of the lot.  The pump truck drove onto the lot, and immediately crushed the metal drain pipe, then gouged some serious ruts in the soft dirt.  These began to fill with water.

Truck in mud

The first concrete truck backed onto the lot, and began to spin tires in the now very muddy area.  The truck was barely able to back up to the pump.

Fortunately, we had a pile of extra dirt.  Our foundation guys rushed to wheel barrow dirt over to the muddy area.  But the stream of water kept trickling, and made more mud.  The next four trucks sank into the mud and spun tires, but managed to make it up to the pump truck.  Everyone held their breath.

The sixth truck could not make it across.  Mud was all over the street and the road edge was getting mangled.  The guys spent 45 minutes adding fresh dirt over the swamp and trying to get the truck across.  Four trucks were now standing by to pour concrete.  Finally, the pump truck driver said, “Go to McCoys for some lime.”

Matt rushed to McCoys.  He paid for bags of lime, but when he went to the pick-up yard, they were all out.  He was sent to the refund line.  This was turning into one of those slow motion nightmares.   Matt then drove to Lowes and brought back eight 50 lb bags of lime.  They looked like giant sacks of flour.

Siphon of water

Then, in a moment of desperation, Jim and Matt began to shovel dirt to dam up the water.  A pond formed, and Matt bucketed out the water.  Then Jim went to a neighbor and borrowed a hose to set up a siphon.  The siphon emptied the water across the street.  This was the critical move.  Without the water running across the front, the guys were able to pile up dry dirt and lime, plus some old 2 x 10 lumber was tossed on.

Last truck leaving

All this gave the concrete trucks enough traction to back in.  The waiting four trucks delivered their loads.  Then two more were ordered, for a total of 11 trucks.

Pump working

All in all, it was not pretty, but we got the main foundation poured.

Modern Farmhouse Series – All Posts

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