Second Floor Construction – Jan 18, 2023

This week the contractor and his crew are framing the second floor for the next concrete pour. This one is a little different as it will have the second floor balcony/loggia. The balcony will be a few inches lower to keep water from moving back towards the interior living area. The contractor has his crew creating the rebar “cages”. Those will be used for the horizontal concrete beams and the vertical concrete columns.     I need to talk to…

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Bad framing

The Second Floor Structure – Jan 5, 2023

Now that the first floor is up, and the concrete has cured enough, the contractor is putting up the temporary supports for the second floor. I am unsure when the second floor will be poured, but it will be soon (I hope!) The method to support the forms for the second floor are wood 4″x4″s, two are attached to a metal connector. The metal connector is used to lock the 4″x4″s together. The workers can place one on the floor…

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Moving on up (to the first floor)! – Dec 21, 2022

Since the last posting the contractor has formed up the first (raised) floor and built the concrete block walls that enclose the first floor. This floor will contain the bedrooms and utility room. It seem to take a long time to form the floor and the support beams of poured concrete. Due to lots of building activity I had to wait an additional week to get this concrete pour completed. The workers used five 10 yard truckloads. It was hard…

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First Floor steel rebar

When is the first floor not the ground floor? – Nov 14, 2022

When is the first floor not the ground floor? In Europe, and the Florida Keys, of course! There has been confusion around here as to what floor the contractor is working on…. I’ve had trouble communicating with people about how far along we are, which is not very! Here the floor above the ground floor is the first floor. The contractor promised me that now “my crew is on your job until it’s done”, YAY! But we will see. I’m…

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Temporary first floor framing

First Floor Structural Work – October 19, 2022

The next step is framing the first floor (above grade). The supports have been constructed and the plywood for the subfloor has been installed. In Silicon Valley, the building are constructed with steel supports and metal floor deck to support the raised floor. But this is the Keys, and this is how it’s done. The next step is to install the rebar that will support the concrete pour for the subfloor. I’ve never seen the supports built of wood and…

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Column framing

Concrete Walls and Columns – October 18, 2022

The next step was the perimeter walls and the free standing columns. As we were preparing for the construction of the perimeter walls, I had ideas for making some changes in the field. Due to the City of Marathon’s illegal granting of building rights to the biggest developer in Marathon the state of Florida has stepped in to “review and comment” on all construction permits and changes to existing permits. All of the drawings were done months ago but trying…

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Concrete block walls

Walls, Finally! – October 12, 2022

Well, everyone is probably bored about foundations! The next step was the perimeter walls and the free standing columns. As we were preparing for the construction of the perimeter walls, I had ideas for making some changes in the field. Due to the City of Marathon’s illegal granting of building rights to the biggest developer in Marathon the state of Florida has stepped in to “review and comment” on all construction permits and changes to existing permits. All of the…

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Concrete forms

Concrete Foundations, part 3 – October 1, 2022

Well, everyone is probably bored about foundations! But one more post on the topic! The contractor did frame and add the rebar to the foundations. There were specifications on how it was to be done. But, it’s the Keys and it seems written specs don’t count, even to the designer! I was out on the site and realized that the contractor was using gravel too big for the specifications. The rebar was resting on the soil. The rebar was also…

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Pile Driver

Foundations, the other method – August 4, 2022

Considering that we made the decision early on to have a concrete house we have to take into account the extra weight of the whole structure. The “soil” (sandy marine clay and rock fragment) we are building on is probably fill the developer threw on top of a marsh to create “dry” land and from the surrounding canals. The method used on our site was to the drill the hole, fill with concrete and drop in a rebar cage to…

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Trouble in Paradise? – August 4, 2022

What happens when the construction installation is not per the drawings? What happens when the construction installation is not per the drawings and no one seems to care? What happens when the construction installation is not per the drawings and no one seems to care except the owner? This week has been stressful. There are requirements in the drawings for: Imported base rock to be compacted to 2,000 LBS per square foot. Rebar to be supported with rebar chairs so…

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