We have a floor!
Hubby and I worked on the outhouse again this weekend. If you haven’t seen the previous posts, you can see them here – We’re Building An Outhouse, The Outhouse – Part 2, and Fixtures for the Outhouse.
When we arrived at the future homestead on Friday evening, we settled in for the night as the sun was already starting to set, and we knew we were going to need a lot of energy for our tasks the next morning. Early Saturday morning we uncovered the hole we had dug and were happy to discover that no critters had fallen to their demise at the bottom of the pit. Whew!
The first thing we needed to do was get the footing poured and the first course of concrete block set. This didn’t take to long as we did it the lazy man’s way – dig a trench, pour in dry concrete, set blocks on top, pour in water and let it sit for a minute – then make sure the first course of block is reasonably level.
* Please note: Neither hubby nor myself are professional bricklayers, nor are we professional builders. If you see a wall that looks a little kaddywampus, a concrete block that isn’t quite level, or something that seems awry – it probably is. If it is functional and looks decent, we go with it. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff. It’s an outhouse, for heaven’s sake!
The next thing we did was to pound three foot rebar into some of the holes in the concrete block, drive them down through the footing and into the earth, but leaving about 7 inches above the concrete block to tie into the next course. Then the rebar was cemented in. So far everything was going well. The walls were reasonably straight and the cement blocks were fairly level. At this point we put mortar between each block, then began setting the second course of block. This second course will be above ground and you can see the opening where the door will eventually be. In each corner and in the middle of the long walls hubby Ray placed a J-Bolt, which will tie the sill plate (2 x 6 laid flat) to the cement block structure. This is pretty much the same way we built our tool shed.
Also, since the second course of cement block was narrower than the bottom foundation block, we married the two with a bed of sloping mortar, which you can see along the back side and half way to the front on each side wall.
At this point, with the footing and foundation block pretty solid, hubby Ray got back into the hole and dug it out a little closer to the edge of the footing. And that was the end of Saturday.
Sunday morning woke us up a bit sore and creaky, but we wanted to get the floor of the outhouse poured before we had to go back home for the week. So we had breakfast, two Advil, and a strong cup of coffee to prepare for more work.
The first thing we had to do was to place some supporting rebar across the opening of the hole, along with some 2 x 4’s to support the weight of the concrete floor that we were going to pour. Ray cut cement board to fit around the supporting foundation block (that block in the middle of the floor area that looks out of place) which goes over the rebar and 2 x 4’s. Then he cut a piece of scrap lumber for the back edge of the floor and wedged it into place, and a scrap 2 x 4 was secured with stakes at the door to the level we wanted the concrete to come to, with a slight slope down toward the door. Once the foundation for the floor was all secure, we threw in all the rocks that had been excavated from digging the pit.
Next came washed river rock pebbles, to fill in voids between the rock. We wanted the actual concrete to be about 3-4 inches thick and we had seven 80 pound bags of concrete mix, so we added only enough pebbles needed to make up the difference. Then we added more rebar that would be imbedded within the concrete, to give it a more rigid structure. It was important that this floor be structurally sound because it overhangs half of the pit!
We were finally ready to pour the concrete floor! How exciting! With hubby Ray mixing the concrete in the wheelbarrow, then dumping it onto the floor, my task was to spread it out as evenly as possible. Not a difficult job, just backbreaking! It didn’t take us too long to get all the concrete poured in, and once Ray was finished mixing all the concrete he began cleaning up the wheelbarrow and tools while I leveled and smoothed the concrete. I tried my best to get the concrete highest in the back, sloping toward the door, so that when I want to spray off the floor with the hose it will drain out easier. We will see how well I did when we go back up to the future homestead to start framing up the structure. Of course, we covered the pit again before we left to protect the neighborhood animals from falling in!
So, what do you think? Are we doing all right so far? 😉
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