Construction Notes

In the spring of 2009…

we began the crazy construction experiment that would, with some luck, become our winery facility. Unable to find a design/build company that clicked with our needs, we combined several materials we liked with the help of an architect and created a structure that is well suited for both processing and sales. These photos show some of the details of our unusual project.

 

A good foundation…

is necesssary for future success. Our situation called for a super-duper footer that was extra wide at the ends. This served both to tie together the steel arch walls underground and also to support the block wall set in a few feet from the outside dimensions. Even more concrete was poured as underground beams across the 40-foot width.

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strengthened by steel…

a support beam was poured over the protruding rebar and would become the platform on which our steel sill plates would rest. Anchor bolts were driven into the beams and the plates were settled over them in very close tolerance. Rolls of putty-like caulk were applied to the exterior footprint where the wall panels would stand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The joyous day came…

when the stacks of steel panels began a short parade from our garage to the their new home. The step-by-step photos (at left) show the precarious start with the first arch. Several methods were tried including whole arch, half arch, and single piece assembly. We learned the most important goal is to have the height exactly right from the start as it impacts everything and is impossible to change later.

         

 

A bed of gravel…

provided a useful floor until the time a concrete floor could be poured.

 

 

The right equipment…

makes all the difference and the driveable lift was cetainly a helpful tool. It was undaunted by our muddy terrain and provided accurate placement of the crew throughout the project. They are shown here (right) giving the bolts a final tightening. Chardonnay, the cat, was kept indoors on days with too many trucks in the driveway but insisted on inspecting the worksite after hours.

         

 

Blocks…

glorious blocks, so earthy and rustic! Pleased with their appearance, we soon discovered how challenging the installation was with the required vertical rebar in the walls. But committed to our crazy experiment, and with much patience from our block mason, the plan proceeded. A shellac barrier was applied to the interior where the blocks extended into the "pocket" of the metal walls. This helps prevent a corrosive reaction between the mortar and the galvanized surface. Lines of caulk at the horizontal joints keep the mortar from weeping down the exterior.

 

Made-to-order…

the lintels over our openings provide a horizontal tie for the lower courses and vertical support for the upper courses of block. A timely tack weld keeps progress moving.

 

A warm face…

welcomes those who would inspect our otherwise cold building. Pilasters were designed to add visual interest and provide a natural expansion joint.

 

         

 

   

 

 

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