More, of the Perils of DIY

Posted by on September 11, 2013

So, as we last left off, I was having some professionals come over and finish the holes for the deck’s footings. Watching them work, and seeing them use the same auger (the third if you had been keeping count) that Erin and I did, made me feel that I made the right choice.

They struggled, cursed, and were worn out after three hours of digging holes. The Schadenfreude was strong with this one. Yet, they weren’t done! After all the time, and an extra day of renting a the auger, they were still unable to finish that first day. I couldn’t afford the rental for a fourth day of the auger, so they agreed to come back the next day and complete the job with hand tools.

So they hauled out the auger once more, making sure the holes were at the 42″ depth we needed. Then, dirt loosened for the next day, they departed. A part of me wondered if they would actually return. Several of the rocks that we had all pulled out of the holes were the size of a… there just isn’t a good everyday object to compare them to. Oh, wait, Frisbee! Yes, the size of a very solid and hard Frisbee.

Return they did though! It took them another three hours with hand tools: trenching bar, two post hole diggers, and even a four tine garden tiller. At the end of it, the holes were done!

I was then able to get concrete tube forms from the local Home Depot, and put them in the holes. All except one. I thought I had 25 holes, but somehow I have 26. So I need to figure out where that last one came from, and if it should be there. Also, there are still some rocks preventing me from putting some tubes all the way in the holes. So the breaker bar needs to come out again.

Once some other family matters settle, I will have some pre-mixed concrete delivered. I really don’t feel like carting home and mixing 1.5 cubic yards (over 500 lbs.) of cement by hand. I’ve asked for quotes, and the cost is worth the saving of effort to me. It also guarantees that the concrete will be properly mixed when it’s put into the ground.

Next up, setting the posts. Maybe I can have the deck in before Christmas at this rate.