The concrete pour is a multi-step process and must take into account temperature, altitude, and regional building codes. Up in the Sierra Nevadas, the high altitude, cold winters and the threat of earthquakes and forest fires create the need for a home that will stand strong against the elements.
As this future home is nestled on the edge of the hillside, the base of the home is several floors below street level. To that end, the concrete must be pumped down through many feet of of hosing and then leveled into the forms that were set the previous week. As the cement surges out of the pipe, Mike Tatarek's crew swiftly 'screeds' the concrete using a large wood board. The screeding process helps compact and consolidate the concrete and begins the smoothing and leveling of the top of the concrete. Once the surface has been screeded, the concrete is floated. The surface is floated to further compact the concrete, even out any depressions or high areas, and create a smooth finish on the surface. At the same time early finishing takes place, joints and edges are worked into the concrete with special hand tools.
As soon as the forms are filled, the Tatarek crew is quickly on their way, leaving the concrete to cure in the fresh mountain air. They will be back to pour three more times as this structure takes shape.