The big day has finally arrived. The contractors started preparations for pouring the concrete slab. This was a particularly stressful time due to the fact that we are geniuses who thought it was a great idea to have concrete poured in the middle of winter. But then again, I guess we were just being ambitious. Any who, we had a few bumps in the road. The contractors were able to get the concrete footers poured, then the bad weather set in. Goodbye window of opportunity.
It seemed like things were going nowhere fast, but in hindsight, it gave us an opportunity to make changes and double check plans, and to make sure that contractors were on the same page. So we thought, but my husband, being the perfectionist that his is, he discovered that the were problems with the rough in plumbing.This is a particularly bad situation because had we not caught it our stairs wouldn’t have fit where they were supposed to go, our bathroom would have ended up in our hallway, we would not have had a kitchen sink in our island, the bathroom vent pipe would have ended up on the outside of the grain bin house, and nothing would have drained properly because there was not enough slope with the plumbing. Once these things were fixed, some by us I might add, we were finally ready for concrete. At this point, we had such low confidence in the contractors ability thus far, we were just praying that things would turn out ok. So much so that I called in to work on the day of the pour to supervise. Not so sure they enjoyed reporting to a woman though. It got dark and we had puppies at the time, so I fired up the rocket mass heater we had built and played with the puppies, but at 10PM I was exhausted and left for home while they continued to float the concrete by headlights.
This was a learning experience for us as to knowing when to fire a contractor or when someone else does not have the same vision that you have. We were building something that was not common so having a contractor that saw the project the same way we did was extremely important, to ensure that we were able to build as planned. Looking back, this is something we wished we would not have been afraid to do, but it makes it harder when it is a friend. Lesson learned, friend or no friend, if you need to change contractors, do not be afraid to do so and don’t drag your feet, things will not get better.
After the concrete was poured, we had bad weather move in, which delayed our ability to have our grain bin put up. We were able to get it on the books for the first day of good weather. This just so happened to be a beautiful Saturday morning. Well maybe a little cold, but beautiful in the fact that we were having the grain bin house raised. Due to our experience with our previous contractor, we were quite nervous about the grain bin install. Six men showed in two big trucks with trailers at sunrise. The pulled into our drive and we thought that the carnival was coming to town. But let me tell you, these guys were super professional. It was like watching ants work. All 6 guys on the team knew exactly where they should, what they should be doing, and how they should be doing it. There was never a moment that they were out of sync. We were totally impressed and this wiped the bad taste out of our mouth from the previous incident.
At the end of the day we had this round, tall, metal, echoey grain bin that we were going to call home. This was daunting because we knew that we had a monumental task in front of us and we couldn’t believe that we decided to build this.