Tuesday, March 22, 2005

It's A Floor!

We were in a race against time and the road restriction schedule to get our upper level floor placed, the radiant heat tubing installed and forms set to have the concrete placed and finished, and I'm happy to report we made it, and with barely a day to spare, as road restrictions will begin at midnight tonight. Whew!

Since the time this project was conceived, there was no question in my mind that I wanted to have concrete as the finish flooring throughout the house. It seemed like a simple, inexpensive wish, given the fact that there are acres and acres of poured concrete floor in commercial buildings, but finding a contractor that was willing and capable of this proved to be surprisingly difficult. The decorative concrete contractors weren't interested because I didn't want color, stamping or polishing, and the commercial guys wouldn't give a residential project consideration. I wanted a floor like those in any big box building; just a perfectly smooth, shiny, bare gray concrete slab in its natural state, and I had several contractors try and convince me that to get that I had to pay them $10 a square foot for grinding and polishing. NOT! And that was after patiently explaining to them that I wasn't interested in a multi-colored, intricately saw cut pattern. After a lot of phone calls, I finally found someone that got their head around what I was going for, and was happy to provide me with a simple, machine finished floor, and the finished product looks great. It's being heated from below and blanketed on top for a few days but as soon as it's had a chance to cure, I'm going to go up there and just sit and revel in it and hope that all of our PEX tubing survived the pour without getting kinked or punctured. Here's a look:

Unfortunately we're now prevented from hauling concrete for the next six weeks. My goal for that time is to push to make sure the upper level walls are stacked and ready to pour the minute we can get concrete again. I'm also planning on finalizing the plan for exterior materials and scheduling anything I can for inside in preparation for pouring the grade slab. Today I'm enjoying the day off and reveling in the fact that I can have dinner tonight in something other than my muddy work boots and ratty jeans.


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