The Builder Blog
Dilston Lane; In the Village of Spring Hill – Third installment
In our previous blog, we left you with placing the steel I-beam. In this photo you can see that we have set steel columns that run horizontal with the steel I-beam. The steel columns and beams are a unique part of the structural support of this home and are very uncommon in residential construction for this area.
After the steel columns have been set, we then begin preparing the ground by smoothing it out and sealing it with heavy plastic. This is called a vapor barrier. A vapor barrier will prevent moisture from the ground below to enter the concrete slab. Once the entire area is prepared we can then begin pouring the slab.
The foundation is ready for slab placement.
The concrete is being placed throughout the foundation with the help of a pump truck. Since concrete dries so quickly, it’s very common to use a pump truck to get the concrete distributed quickly and efficiently with a long, remote-controlled articulating arm, called a boom.
The concrete has been placed and the finishing process is underway. Except for the master shower, this concrete slab will serve as the finished floor. At the end of the day, 1.5 inch deep control joints are cut using a self propelled walk behind saw. The joints are cut to coincide with the decorative scoring pattern that comes later and will allow the slab to crack at these locations, thereby limiting the unsightly shrinkage cracks that would normally occur in the slab. After allowing the concrete to cure for two weeks, the slab will be decoratively scored and polished. Hydration over the first few days are important since concrete dries at such a rapid rate. Keeping the concrete well hydrated for the first 10 days will reduce stress and help prevent shrinkage cracking.
Now that the concrete has cured for two weeks, we’ll begin to score the slab with a saw on wheels. By scoring the slab, we’re creating decorative designs to enhance the home’s floor appearance.
After we’ve completed the scoring of the slab, it’s time to polish the concrete. The benefits of having a polished concrete slab as flooring is that it’s very sustainable, and it makes great use of materials that are already present. It’s also something to consider when building a smarter, green home. Concrete floors are very low maintenance, more durable, easier to clean, and also are less slippery. Polished concrete also cuts down on allergens, mold growth, and dust mites.
The polishing is complete except for the hand work around the fireplace. Even on an overcast day, you can see the concrete has a reflective quality.