Patrick's Barn: Rookie Mistakecomments (3) June 8th, 2011 in Blogs
It was about 5 minutes before the mixer was scheduled to arrive when Bill, my professional finisher, asked me, "You ordered 10 yards, right?" Before I could even answer, I heard the concrete truck buzzing down the road approaching my house. I answered, "No, I ordered 9. We should have 0.2 yards left over." Bill didn't reply, but he told me about 30 minutes later, "I'm scared about 9 yards. I don't think it's gonna make it."
Well, as you probably guessed, Bill was right. I ended up about 1/2 yard short. I knew it as soon as I heard the few remaining pieces of aggregate rattling around in the drum. The driver held up his hands and said, "I'm all out." I ran over to the truck and asked him how long I'd have to wait for another load. He told me, "Probably a half hour. Feeling somewhat relieved, I told my coworkers. Bill replied with a smile, "That's what they always say."
Even with my inexperience, I knew that the void in my slab was an increasingly bigger problem the longer it sat. The resulting cold joint could sacrifice the entire slab. I asked the driver to call in another two yards, the minimum delivery, even though I only needed 1/2 yard.
Fortunately, the second truck showed up about 30 minutes later and saved my bacon, although this was perhaps the most expensive 1/2-yard of concrete ever. In round numbers, the first truck, with 9 yards, cost about $1000. The second, with 2 yards, of which I only needed a 1/2 yard, cost $430. I'm just thankful that the ready-mix supplier was able to save my slab with the speedy second delivery. Live and learn, I guess. Bill, in his seemingly unflappable style, said, "If there's not some crisis, it wouldn't be any fun."
I guess I agree, but I hope the next crisis is on somebody else's job.
You can read more about my barn here.
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