The Concrete, the Rebar and the Worry

On day 80 of our construction countdown, the crew was scheduled to lay the concrete foundation for the extension.  Pretty exciting, right?  As always, things went awry.

We were excited that the concrete pouring was happening because the cold weather is coming and concrete should be poured and allowed to cure in temperatures over 40 degrees.  I was able to go to the site at the allotted time to take photos but when I arrived the crew was still be digging out the area.

Prior to pouring concrete, a number of inspections must be done.  Our structural engineer must inspect the rebar framing (short for reinforcing bar) to make sure that it is in the correct place, depth and quantity.  A concrete inspection lab must test a sample of the poured concrete and confirm that the concrete is what the supplier says it is. They also complete what’s knows as a TR-2 report for the D.O.B.

If our concrete was delivered by a concrete truck we’d also need a TR-3 report for the DOB. This report certifies that the supplier is properly mixing the concrete. In our case, because there is no access to the backyard and because our contractor does not want to risk running a tube of concrete through our house, the crew will be mixing the concrete on site from premixed bags. This takes more time but we save a little cash because we don’t need the TR-3 report.

Since I had no idea how this process works, I just smile and nod to the all Spanish- speaking crew.  Eventually, I go sit on the stoop and greet the guy from the concrete inspection company.  He is concerned because the mixer is not even on site–which to him means he may be waiting awhile.  Our structural engineer then shows up, and thankfully explains things to me. He sees that the rebar has barely been started and will likely take a few hours and by then it will be getting late and with the sun going down the temperatures are expected to drop into the 30’s.

I made a flurry of phone calls to our architect and contractor, in the end the concrete will not be poured until Monday. Luckily no rain or freezing temperatures are in the forecast for next week otherwise we would fall even further behind schedule.

Moral of the story:  Is wise to visit your renovation site on a work day?  I came away feeling like things were very disorganized and communications were not well executed.  Now I am worried.