New Greenhouse Footers – Click for Larger View
Yesterday I stripped the forms from the new greenhouse’s footers. They have had a little over a week to cure. Ben’s been keeping the concrete wet with frequent sprayings of water. The wooden formwork came of smoothly and the footers look great. The concrete is still green and thus a bit fragile but ready to have the wall forms built on top of it. Then the concrete walls of the greenhouse can be poured this coming week. Progress.
West Footer to be stripped
The rebar stubs set in the footer concrete will connect the footer to the walls. After setting up the outer wall forms we’ll attach more rebar to these stubs to reinforce the walls.
The reason for building concrete walls is two fold:
1) The greenhouse is set into the hillside so that it can be bermed to gain protection from the winter cold and very importantly, the wind.
2) Pigs are very rough on walls as I discussed back in the previous article.
By having pig tough knee walls I can assure myself that they’re not going to tear the walls down by rubbing up against the surfaces when searching out that perfect scratching post.
The surface of the concrete in the footers is quite rough. This is so that when we pour the walls they will bind to the footers. I could have also keyed them in but between the roughness and the rebar studs it is more than sufficient. Later things will be smoothed out.
The red plastic caps on top of the rebar stubs are there to protect us from falling on the spikes and getting impaled. Vlad would be proud of the setup – safety first!
Puttied Brace Screw Head
This is a screw in the spacer brace that spans the footer. Ben and Hope had pushed putty into the screw heads so that when we went to later disassemble the forms we could easily remove the screws. Without the putty, cement gets into the screw head slots and hardens making the screws nearly impossible to remove.
Rebar Clean & Dirty
One thing we could have done a better job of was cleaning some of the rebar stubs after pour day. The brace boards were easy to slip off of the clean stubs, like the one on the left.
To remove brace boards from the dirty stubs we tapped the boards upward with a mallet. This worked like a charm. I had been afraid I would have to split the brace boards, thus losing them from future works.
North End Footer
The greenhouse is set on a slope. The north end has a bit more angle so the footer is thicker there. Now that the footers are all poured we have a level surface for the full 122′ of their length.
Looking Down on Foundation from Cottage Level
The greenhouse foundation is a C shape 28′ wide by 66′ long. The actual roofed area will be a little bigger due to overhang to get the drip edge further out. We may or may not build the final roof this year.
The glazing is quite expensive. I want to go with permanent translucent roofing rather than sheet plastic because I don’t want to waste time and resources replacing it every year or three. We get high winds which are very hard on plastic sheeting. Been there, done that. Since we will just be using the greenhouse for farrowing this year and not growing plants what we may do is a temporary opaque roof on it for now. Then later when we have more time and money we can put on the final roof. Everything in its time.
Ben & Will Making Forms
Yesterday and today Ben & Will continued making forms for the walls. At this point they’ve completed all the standard 4×8 forms, the 4×4 forms and all but two of the few special sizes of forms. Building all the forms was a fair bit of work but they lock and unlock easily making construction of the concrete walls a breeze. This will be important as we have quite a few other similar construction projects planned for the coming years.
Outdoors: 51°F/24°F Sunny yesterday, Cloudy with 1/2″ Rain today in late afternoon
Farm House: 58°F/52°F
Tiny Cottage: 55°F/52°F Closed roof vents in evening