For a chronological listing of our building projects with ICF (or insulated concrete forms), be sure to look through the ICF Building Index.
A front porch is the next phase of our house and it is well underway!
Those of you who have been following our vineyard adventure will be excited that we have started working on the house again – WooHoo, happy dance time!
For those of you who are new, we are living in what will eventually be the basement of our home that overlooks the vineyard. We have chosen to use Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF) for their insulation value but also because they are great for do-it-yourselfers.
The exterior is also an acronym, EIFS which stands for Exterior Insulation Finishing System. The basement was built in two phases and we have opted to wait for the EIFS on the more recent construction until the upstairs exterior walls are finished – hopefully, this will give a more consistent finish.
As you might imagine, I am totally beside myself to be making progress once again on the house! To start the front porch, a concrete footer was poured and a foundation of concrete blocks were stacked on it making a short wall. Rebar was put in the wall for added strength. A white mortar exterior was smeared on it that you can see the photo above-” trowelled” is the proper term but “smeared” gets the point across better! The mortar will give a bit more strength and stability as the blocks are filled with concrete.
In the photo below, you can see the wooden trough that John made which acts as a funnel for the concrete – I thought that was really creative! After all, we are paying for all that concrete and the last place we need it is allover the ground!
Once the blocks are filled with concrete and the truck moved down, a towel is used to scrape any excess concrete and smooth the tops of the block.
The boys make this look easy but it really takes a lot of muscle power!
Everything was going so well until…
We had a blow out! You can see in the photo below the pile of concrete that we lost when the concrete block blew out. The block that escaped is now being held in place by a piece of wood that is anchored into the ground. All in all, with only one blow out, we were very pleased!
Finally, we had built a wall in the back of the house to hold the dirt in place and it was also filled.
Can’t you visualize this area as a beautiful green grassy spot with plants, flowers and a seating area to get out of the afternoon sun?
I guess we need to wait for the snow to melt first!
Now, comes the actual front porch pad and then we will see some real progress with the ICF walls and metal roof!