ADU: How to Retain Your Form(work) Weeks 9-16

While the previous two months seemed to drag with the drilling of the piers, there was a lot more to observe during these two months of construction of the ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit). As the structure lifted itself from below ground, we could witness progress of the construction. We were gratified by physical signs finally appearing after two years of planning and design!

Formwork

Temporary formwork was built for a concrete retaining wall and grade beams along the perimeter of the addition. There seemed to be as much, if not more, effort put into the construction of the forms than the pouring of the concrete itself, which seemed easy after the complex engineering and layout of the entire space. Needless to say, all of the work that will ultimately not be visible—the drilling of the 30 foot piers, the intricate network of rebars, the wooden formwork that holds the wet concrete—is just as essential as what one sees.

Once the concrete was poured, the formwork was removed. It was sad to see all the hard labor put into its construction disappear so quickly.

House of Sand and Fog

Next, the sandy soil made its reappearance on the site. The backfill was compacted into the large bowl created by the concrete walls.

Layers of Icing on the Cake

Within one week, the finishing touches and crucial layers of protection under the floor were added: 6” of gravel followed by a 2” layer of insulation. Finally, the moisture barrier (yellow plastic material) was added to the underside of the slab.

Dear Little Felix had a field day watching all of the activity, keeping him entertained throughout the day. Watching and learning outside our window was a great home-bound alternative to traveling around the world to see the sights!