The Foundation.

This is the thing that holds the building up.

It needs to not move preferably. Not in winter because of frost, or summer due to rain.

We were going to pour it our selves. Ourselves meaning my buddy Dave, who works with concrete everyday. He lobbied to build this foundation all winter. “Piece o’ cake” he said. So it was decided.

We are going to dig it. Scratch down the ledge. Drill holes. Epoxy rebar in. Build walls around those pins, and pour concrete in those forms.

“sounds easy”

Reasoning #1:

  1. It would be cheaper
  2. It would get done “right”
  3. It would get done faster (not on contractors schedule)
  4. I could add in small things like a pit without grief
  5. No one to rely on

Well, we decided not to.

It’s two months into spring already, and we haven’t started. This is due to a number of things which aren’t important here. The point is, we aren’t going to do it ourselves.

Reasoning #2:

  1. We haven’t started yet
  2. contractor will be faster
  3. more time to build the garage
  4. our personal lives get in the way

So I asked someone to come out and give me a price. He came out, and looked at it, (Friday) and said he’d come back Sunday with a price, but that I needed to finish digging the hole. So I did and Sunday came. Well turns out he was busy, and so we met monday.

X-teen thousand dollars he wanted. I was like ooh… Said thanks and I’d think about it.

So I called Dave and said ” Guess what, We are doing it ourselves!!”

Reasoning #3

  1. I wasn’t expecting to pay that much for the foundation
  2. I can take all summer and build the foundation and build the garage next year
  3. How hard could it really be
  4. I’ve already dug the hole
  5. this guy isn’t going to back fill

So the next few days we talked it over and planned it out. How we would do it, when we would do it.

In the mean time I decide to start calling other people to check prices. I only really got one other “quote” which was 1000 less than X-teen thousand, but this guy was farther away and not local. I felt that going with a local contractor had it’s advantages. Such that he would know what the weather is like at my job site, and that he could easily run back to his shop to get the job done right if need be.

Well, after the second day of talking about it and speculating on costs of materials to do it ourselves. We were feeling more and more like X-teen thousand wasn’t all that much.


  • A contractor will be faster (done within a week)
  • It WILL be done “perfectly”
  • I won’t have to spend any time thinking about it  (the time where you wonder how, what, when)
  • It’s not too much more $$ over doing it myself

And so I called up the first guy and said, “when can you start”

He said, “well I save my floors for the nice days, and the footings and walls for the crappy ones, so the next crappy day”

Of course, the next two weeks were beautiful…

So I stared at a hole in my yard for two weeks.  And I started to think.  I’m not doing anything.  I’m just sitting here.  I just wasted a whole weekend and I could have had the forms for the footings built by now.  But I’m just sitting here.

So I think I should do it myself

Reasoning #5

  1. I’m not doing anything
  2. I just wasted a whole weekend
  3. I could have had half of it done by now
  4. I could save money

So I started researching ICF’s (Insulated Concrete Forms).  I also found a system that would let you mono-pour foundations.  I thought, this could be it!  The way we can avoid a pump truck charge, and still do it ourselves all in one pour.  I called everywhere I could asking for pricing information on ICF’s and this system and took a good hard look at the numbers.

I will say that in the middle of this research I called up my concrete guy and said.  “Hey, I haven’t heard from you, honestly I think I might just do this myself, give me a call so we can chat”

Well, in looking at the numbers it looked like I could stand to save about $4,000 by doing it myself.

At this point I was stuck

Should I do it myself? should I have it done?

So I made the decision that it would be up to my concrete contractor.

If my concrete guy builds this foundation by June 17th, they HE will build it.  Otherwise, I will start building it on the 18th

Well, needless to say, after my message to him, I had a voicemail within the hour saying,

we are going to be there in two days, do you still want us to do it?

I called him back and said, yes.

Concrete Foundation Decisions
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One thought on “Concrete Foundation Decisions

  • June 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    Wow. This is a perfect window into Adam Hadlock decision making. Never have a met a person who can so articulately change his “decisions” 180 degrees and switch back. Now that’s being flexible.


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