Chronicles of the Design & Construction of Two Waterfront Hurricane Proof Dry Stack Modular Green Custom Homes
1. Villa Lagoon, Wilder Italian Style Home
2. Nasello Italian Style Home

January 2008 Backfill Concrete Pour

Friday, January 25th 2008

After a couple days of cold and rainy weather, we had a good day for our back-fill pour. It was a little cold, but the sun was out so that made all the difference. I pulled into the driveway to find everyone in action. Dan was there as were all the New Stone Age guys. Truck after truck of wet cement pulled in to keep the flow going. It is expensive to rent the concrete pumper, so Dan made sure that everything happened in the right order and started first thing in the a.m. to minimize any risk of wasted time or man-power.

Pouring concrete into the day stack stone blocks

Beautiful, if chilly, day for a pour.

Pumping concrete into the hollow cavity of the dacart concrete blocks. Workmen hosing off the excess concrete on the dacart walls.

Truck after truck of concrete arrived. The pump truck stays in place and the cement mixer trucks back up to it.

The pumper truck came from Mobile. We wait to pour as many rows of concrete blocks as possible due to the expense in having the pumper struck here.

After all the recent rains, we are starting to get some really mushy places in the grassy areas of the yard. It cost so much to grade and resod the yeard after the hurricanes, that I asked the guys to park up on the easement and not on the grass. We already have places with huge mud tire ruts. I think after I left on Friday that some of the cement mixer trucks turned around in the yard... yuk.  I understand that they are reluctant to back out into Fort Morgan Road, after all it is a state highway, and the workers vehicles pretty much filled up the easement, but we need to figure something out so that we don't totally tear up the yard. Unlike many properties down here, my yard has a fair amount of organic matter mixed into the sand, so it does get plenty mushy when saturated.

On Saturday it was back to rain again. You can see that they covered the tops of the DACART blocks with tar paper when they left on Friday after the pour. Then the G-P joists from Swift Building Materials were delivered. These are the supports for the top floor of the house. First step is to epoxy bolts into the concrete blocks and attach a wood band around the inside perimeter of the building. Joist hangers will be attached to the wood band. This floor has a more complicated joist pattern that first floor, so you see members of many lengths. We have the stair opening to work around and we had to add additional support for the heavy encaustic cement tiles from Villa Lagoon Tile that are to come.

Encaustic cement tiles patterns for a dacart house

The vintage encaustic tile mold patterns (grids) that I bought on Argentina's eBay came the other day. They are so cool, I think. I was a bit disappointed that they are not brass, as I imagined they would be. Now I have to deal with the issue of rust which is super accelerated here on the water. Some have a dried thin film of the last pigmented marble dust / cement mixture that was last poured into them. Very interesting. But during the FedEx ride up here from Argentina, they touched one another and I have some shiny exposed steel areas, plus there is a bit of rust showing on some of them.

Some of the ones I bought have a very art deco look, like this corner which has some sort of stylized bird in its pattern. The seller called them 'antique' but I think they are not the official 100 yrs old as required by customs to be called an antique. Hard to tell the age since this type of flooring is still very much in production allover the world, just about every country except the States.

I think they'll look really interesting as a group hanging on a wall in the living room. And since it am going into this kind of tile business because of the Villa Lagoon project, they are thematic.

See how Encaustic Cement Tiles (Mosaico Hidralicos)  are made here.

Metal patterns for mosaico hidralico, Ladrilhos Hidráulicos tiles.

The fan shaped patterns would have been dropped into a square mold, so there was no need to make the outside straight lines to form the square edges. I was surprised at the size of some of these. I think I expected them all to be the worldwide standard size which is about 8 inches. Instead, some are close to seven inches, and some are about 4 inches. They are made to even numbered centimeters, not inches. They have intricate patterns. Imagine how long it would take a man to hand pour different colors of tinted slurry into each area.

Worldwide, the terms that are used to describe this type of concrete tiles vary by region. Terms include: Cement Tiles, Hydraulic Floor Tile, Encaustic Tiles, Hidraulico, Hydraulic Tiles, Ladrilhos Hidráulicos, Ladril, Carreaux de Ciments, Spanish Mission Tilee, redondo tile, Rajoles hidràuliques. Baldosas hidráulicas, Baldosa Hidraulica, Pasta Potosi Tile depending on the language and the country.

Today is Sunday Jan 29,2008, it is sunny and Mike and his New Stone Age crew just showed up to work. They are great about working just about any time the weather is agreeable.