Got concrete?

Let’s get concrete

With all the digging done, it is now time to move on to the next step. That next step is an easy one, and yet it’s also a back-breaking one: getting concrete. More specifically: getting 7m³ concrete into our house, and spread out over 50m². But how do you do that?

To start with, you have to provide a thick plastic sheet where you’d like your concrete to go. This prevents the concrete from drying out too fast (by losing all its water to the soil underneath), cracking in the process (this is also why concrete, poured outside on a hot day is kept wet). So I just went bonkers with the plastic!

Entryway in plastic

Storage in plastic

Kitchen in plastic

Then it’s time to get the dirty work done. I called up a local concrete factory (stortbeton Declercq for those of you interested), and lo-and-behold, they could deliver a few days later already! I also ordered a concrete pump, as most of the dumping needed to be done at the backside of the house and I didn’t feel like running wheelbarrows full of concrete all through the house. It came with an extra cost, but it sure was worth it.

On the agreed day they arrived. First the pump, about 15 minutes early, to get set up.

Concrete pump 1

Concrete pump 2

Then it was time to put on the boots, as we would be ploughing through the concrete once it arrived. Processing the concrete wasn’t that hard to do mentally, but physically it was. The pump spit out concrete at a huge rate, so first we had to keep up spreading it out with our shovels, getting it fairly even. Once that’s done, you pick up a piece of leftover drain tube, or wood, and go over it to produce a smooth-or-maybe-not surface. I used the tube, and by gently wiggling it while pressing down on and over the concrete, it did smoothen out a lot. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough.

And then it repeated itself in the storage room and entryway…

It took us less than an hour to get all 7m³ inside the house (I even believe less than 45 minutes). At that time we still had some smoothing to do though. In the end, the result was not bad, not bad at all (even if I say so myself).

Concrete done

For those of you wondering “how did they get in their house now?”, the answer is quite easy: we did not. We had arranged beforehand to spend the night at my parents’ place, so before we started I had put all we needed in the car. The next morning the concrete would be hard enough for us to walk on it.

To end, every time I hear, see or think “bonkers”, it always makes me think