In order for the formwork to be as strong as possible while the shotcrete was going up, I had chosen not to make a hole in the rebar cage for the skylights. Instead, we just built the skylight forms above the steel structure. Now that it is too cold to work outside, it is the perfect time to cut the steel out of the openings and remove the skylight forms.
Hunter and I were mostly working on different skylights. THis is one of the only timelapse pics to catch both of us in the same shot…
Hunter cut away the steel and then unscrewed the wood formwork. We had built these forms from the inside so all the screws were accessible, but we still needed a pry bar to get some things moving. At this point, the majority of the steel is cut away and the 2×4 structure that held up the skylight buck is removed.
Once the wood and steel were removed, there were some spots where the concrete had not made it all the way to the forms. “Shadows” in shotcrete lingo. This one was the worst of them. I ended up packing these gaps full of hydraulic cement.
Some of the sheets would come out whole… Others were a bit more reluctant and I would need to tear them into pieces, either with a jig saw or just with the pry bar. Of course, this is all done while standing on top of a 13 ft ladder.
In one or two areas it was really difficult to get a grinder in to cut the steel, so I used a cutting torch. My son really wanted to practice with it. I couldn’t let him use it up on the ladder, but I let him cut up a piece.
Back when we did the shotcrete on the Quonset hut, we bucked out a side door between the garage and the mudroom. Leaving the Quonset intact was important because we did not want to weaken the Quonset structure before adding the wet concrete load. However, the buck keeping the concrete off this section meant we could cut it out and make a doorway without needing a big concrete saw. Well, now with the mudroom roof on, it is time to punch the door thru the side of the Quonset.
This segment also covers putting the lights up on the front of the garage.
Starting the cut
Trimming off the section down to the floor.
Hunter and I both working to trim and smooth the edges of the steel
The day after shotcrete on the perimeter walls, we got started on prepping the steel arches and setting them up for another round of shotcrete. This particular apse is special because it will eventually be my office (where I will spend most of my waking hours), and because it needs to be in (along with its retaining wall) before we can bury the garage side of the house. The work was all pretty simple compared to the bedrooms, and I didn’t take much time to stop and take pics, so this post should be short. But first, the video…
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An apse is the semi-circular end of a vault. They are pretty common in earth sheltered homes because they can hold a lot of load, but usually, they are at the back, completely buried. I put mine up front and included a window. Hopefully, it turns out to be a good idea. This apse will also be my office, and I spend a lot of the time on video conference calls, so hopefully, the acoustics are OK. At least my head will be near the window and not near the acoustic focus point.
This is how the guest room looked the morning after shotcrete.
It looks warm enough in the pics, but the temp was probably less than 40 and freezing over night. I left this propane heater in the room to keep the roof warm while it cured.
I was pretty happy with how the mud room roof turned out…
This is the top of the playroom apse. Because it was out in the open, it also needed its own little parapet wall…
Hunter checking on the camera as he flipped the steel arch. He had welded 3 sides of each leg, but needed to flip it to weld the 4th.
Positioned the first arch here and took a quick pic just to get an idea of the scale of the office…
The office apse steel at the end of the first saturday…
Here I am looking quite grizzly, but happy things are working out.
Office apse with mostly just the horizontal rebar.
Michael messing with the camera… He likes moving past it very slowly so it looks like he is moving normal speed and the rest of us are high speed.
Snow stopped our progress for a couple months.
Sherri did most of the lath work during a brief warm spell in February… Sorry, no timelapse.