I Call It a Wall

It absolutely poured last night -- we got inches of rain. For those of you who are not accustomed to California weather, this is rather like a blizzard dropping a foot of snow on Chicago in July. The rain let up around midday and I went out and began prying board off the wall.

Pulling off the formwork

It took us a while to figure out the best way to take the forms off, but it basically involved taking off all the little bits until we just had the plywood to pry off.

Pulling off the formwork

Then we used the flat side of the pry bar to pull the plywood away from the concrete. All that rain had swelled the form wood which made getting it apart more difficult, but we persevered.

Where the concrete blooped under the forms

Here you can see how the sprayed-in foam at the bottom of the forms kept the concrete from blooping out at the bottom too much. It wasn't perfect, but it did the job.

Form ties waiting to be pulled off

You can kind of see the extent of the leaking in this photo. The other thing you can see are the form ties, waiting to be bent off. You just bend them back and forth and they break off due to metal fatigue.

Small-side wall, revealed

We finished off the small side first, which was very encouraging. It only rained on us a small bit, very polite for a weather system.

Pile of used wood

At the end of the day we had a nice big pile of stripped-off form wood....

Pile of stripped plywood

And the plywood.

The finished wall

Oh, yeah, and a wall. I'm pretty happy with it. The finish is not all I would like, but the reality is that the wall will be hidden behind plants from in front and under plants hanging down from above.

posted by ayse on 06/04/11


That looks great! What a nice job you did.

Looks pretty nice. Good job.

Worth all that work.

What happens to the wood?

I love it. Looks perfect for your house.

Usually you have to throw away concrete formwood (or reuse it for more formwork, which would mean making lots more walls, I guess). We're going to burn most of it in our fire pit, because the ash makes a good addition to the compost, and I have no interest in adding to the landfill.

This is why cast-in-place concrete is considered a really wasteful way to build, actually; you end up building the wall you want three times over: two sides to the form and then finally the cast concrete wall.

Your wall really looks nice. I agree with Jan, it fits so well with the house. I'm so impressed with all the work you did, it looks like it was worth it all.

I don't see names and a date! You aren't following your own advice! :)

Wow it looks great! It's come a long way from the construction truck on the front lawn :)

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