A lot of work went into getting the basement ready to have the concrete floor poured, but before I post about all that, I wanted to give a shout out to the company who did a great job on the actual pour: Rock Solid Creations who are based out of Mission, BC.
Scroll down for the video!
My father-in-law Dave, Leanne and I have done a little concrete pouring ourselves. Dave helped us tie the steel rebar together and pour the concrete for the garage of the Little Yellow House. Dave and his wife, Julie (Julie grew up in Hammond Forever House) built their own house on the other side of Maple Ridge and handled all the concrete themselves. However, our new basement is about 1350 square feet and Dave recommended getting some expert help.
At first we were looking for someone who knew what they were doing and who could lead us. The more work we (and our friends and neighbours) can do ourselves, the more we save, right? That idea was quickly quashed because our construction insurance won’t let us accept volunteer labour (more on that soon).
Knowing that pouring concrete can go wrong easily, we started to realize that skimping on it may not be wise. We got a few names from our amazing neighbour Sue and found someone who could bring 4 concrete workers on a weekend and do it all for us. The cost would be 75 cents per square foot plus the cost of the concrete, the pumper truck and the rental of a power-trowel to get a really smooth finish. Unfortunately, this arrangement fell through the moment I remembered to ask if he had his own insurance.
Leanne and I were surprised by how many companies don’t have liability insurance, but apparently they are often employed by general contractors who provide insurance so they don’t need it. Sigh.
Tony and Rock Solid Creations was a little more expensive, but his company is fully insured and concrete is their main gig, so we weren’t restricted to a weekend. We agreed to pay for his team, the concrete and the pumper truck. The troweling would be done by hand. Tony would take care of everything.
They did a great job.
The truck arrived at 7:30am on Tuesday just as I was getting ready for work. However, I managed to get a little “before, during and after” video.
In it you’ll see the radiant piping attached to wire mesh on top of the plastic vapour barrier. Under that and all around the edges is 3″ of Terrafoam, a rigid foam insulation from Beaver Plastics, which gives us an R value of 15. That means the heat we put into the concrete floor by running warm water through those pipes will stay there a while.
I set up my iPhone in the corner with the iMotion app taking a photo every 10 seconds so you get a time-lapse of the pouring and initial troweling. (I should tell you that I edited the time-lapse a little to take out the gaps when they were waiting for more concrete or when the concrete was setting between trowelings. The work was done by about 2:30pm. If you want to see the full 1:51 time-lapse, you’ll find it on my youtube channel.)
Finally, you’ll see my family carving our initials into the still-soft concrete. Even though it will probably be covered over, we had to do it. We’re sentimental like that.