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Once the walls are up, rebar has been installed, and critical areas reinforced (corners, openings), it’s time to pour the concrete. We used a conveyor truck to transfer the concrete to the walls from the cement trucks. This process took one day.
Pouring concrete is pretty straight forward. We did have to vibrate the concrete around the basement window to be sure that it filled the ICFs below the window. You can tell if concrete has filled the ICFs below the window. You can tell if concrete has filled the core of the blocks by pounding on them with your hand. The solid sound they make is a sure indicator that they’re full.
After the concrete was poured, workers troweled it to create a smooth flat surface to mount the sill plates of the exterior walls. We placed J bolts in the concrete wall every four feet so we could bolt the sill plates of the exterior walls, thus firmly attaching the walls to the foundation.
Contributing editor Dan Chiras is a renewable energy and green homes expert who has spent a lifetime learning life’s lessons, which he shares in his popular blog, Dan Chiras on Loving Life. He’s the founder and director of The Evergreen Institute and president of Sustainable Systems Design. Contact him by visiting his website or finding him on Google+.