If everything goes according to plan, we should pour part of the foundation tomorrow, October 4th. This will involve a series of large concrete trucks pumping their loads into the holes we’ve been drilling yesterday and today.

At the end of which you’ll see…nothing. Well, a bunch of rebar sticking up out of the ground at the hole sites. But basically we’re drilling holes and then filling them in. Just with a substance somewhat stronger than dirt :).

For those who are curious as to why we’re doing this: a pier and grade beam foundation is comprised of a bunch of concrete pillars — the piers — sunk into the ground, down to “bedrock” level, with beams at grade (i.e., in contact with the ground) connecting the piers. The piers secure the beams to the planet so they don’t move, while the beams carry the load of the house. Well, technically some of the load is transferred to the piers, but you get the general idea.

You create the piers first by drilling-and-filling. Then you build wooden forms to hold the concrete for the beams while its setting, and pour more concrete. You connect the piers to the beams by bending the rebar sticking up out of the piers horizontal, so that it gets buried in the concrete of the beams.

Here’s a schematic showing how this works:

Of course, in real life you can’t see the rebar because it’s inside the concrete beam.

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