Over Memorial weekend, we finished getting the NE retaining wall ready for shotcrete. We added Basalt Roving to the fiberglass rebar for added strength. This stuff is amazing! It looks like twisted twine about the diameter of a pencil. Yet it has an equivalent tensile strength of about 3/4 inch steel… and it’s made out of rock. We even used it to tie an old tire to the wall. This will act as an anchor when it gets buried in the “berm” and give extra support for the retaining wall.
In these two pictures you can see the corrugated material that will act as the form that the shotcrete will be sprayed against. This will give us a the look of corrugated concrete on the outside of the wall. Some of the panels were purchased (green) the others were donated scraps from our neighbors at Oregon Oyster Farm.
On Saturday, Nolan from MortarSprayer.com, delivered our handheld sprayer. Unlike the shell of our house which was sprayed by a high powered shotcrete pump, we will be spraying our retaining walls using the Low Velocity Sprayed Concrete technique. LVSC
As you can see, this sprayer has a hopper. After mixing the concrete and pouring it into a wheelbarrow, we simply scoop it into the hopper. Compressed air blows through jets that expel the concrete onto the wall.
Everything is ready. The back of our forms are all supported so they can’t move. Next weekend, if Mother Nature cooperates. we will get this wall done and the move onto the next.
This weekend we managed to get the NE retaining wall footing done. (even though the rains started up again) It took many batches of concrete in the mixer but it was more economical than having the concrete truck come with a load. Although with three more footings to go, we may opt to have it delivered.
It may not be pretty but this is be the base for the retaining wall. After forming up one side of it, shotcrete will be applied. We will be using corrugated plastic for the forms so when they are removed, the exposed concrete surface will reflect the corrugated steel siding that we will have on the north entrance wall.
This weekend we placed rock around the perimeter drain pipes. As mentioned in our last posting there is not enough room to get a regular wheelbarrow to the SE corner so I modified an old frame and created the “BucketBarrow” you see in the above picture. It worked great.
It still took a lot of trips but it was much easier than hand carrying buckets. (which we also did). Since there is a lot of room on the north side, Dozy was able to do the heavy lifting and dumping.
Though it’s kind of hard to see in this picture, we epoxied all the horizontal rebar for our NE retaining wall into the shell of the house. The fiberglass rebar which was graciously donated by Marshall Composite Technologies, LLC., is cool to work with, although you have to wear gloves handling it because of the glass fibers.
Jeff spent some time thinning the trees that are growing down the hill from our south terrace. In our Northwest climate, trees grow like weeds. If we didn’t keep up with the yard work, we would eventually lose the view. An added bonus: the alder tree that Jeff cut down will give us a bit more firewood for next year.