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Foundation works

September 30, 2010

Every house needs a foundation. We decided for a foundation with a ventilated crawl space underneath for easy maintenance of plumbing and electricity cabling. With the foundation to be build on a flat space without the risk of any surprise complications, we asked for fixed-term offers for the foundation work: 5 rows of 68 meters of concrete blocks (each 20 cm high and 24 cm wide) makes up the foundation for the walls. In addition, we’ve got some 35 pillars to be made as support for the covered terrace and the floor beams. Adding the water drainage and the insulation around the house, this should be a straight forward calculation.

We were very surprised when we got the offers for the work. They ranged from 12300 (like the earth moving, people here seem to like even numbers as this one equals 10000 Euro without the VAT) to 16500 Euro. Seriously, would you pay 4000 Euro extra for a constructor you don’t know? Oddly, the price seems to rise as closer the constructor lives to the building site. This isn’t particular logic as the closer you are as less travel expenses you’ve got. Well, who cares about logic. We went with the cheaper offer and spend the 4000 Euro on something else. Once the wooden frame for the foundation base was knocked together, the concrete truck club could deliver a beautiful 8.5 m3 of the finest concrete.

Next step was the laying of the concrete blocks on top of the foundation base. Also the 35 pillars had to be assembled on top of each other. So far, so good. The foundation walls were nicely within the 5 mm and 3 mm tolerances on width and height defined by Mammuttihirsi. However, the positioning and height of the pillars left something to be desired. Three of the pillars were more than 2 cm off the mark, one of them a nice 6 cm away from where it supposed to be. The height of all pillars inside of the building were off by some 2 to 7 cm. Two pillars for the terrace were over 20 cm too low. One would think that this is kind of obvious. And one pillar was making attempt to compete as Finnish tower of Pisa.

Isn’t the pillar in the middle suspiciously leaning towards the right? Would you use this pillar supporting the structure of the second floor? Well, maybe not. After some dialog in good spirit with the constructor – not even trying to give better excuses than the rain was pouring while he did the pillars – all mistakes were corrected. He actually cleaned the surfaces of all pillars with a diamond blade. Ultimately, the foundation was completed in time with a better quality than we expected.

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