Thursday, April 12, 2012

The start of a facade!

The Future Missus and I were at the Seattle Home Show, and one of the things that I saw was cultured stone. I didn't realize how good they looked or the ease of installation for a cultured stone facade. So when we came home, we went through the various vendors and I happened to find a local vendor who was offering free delivery if we ordered by the end of the week.

After a quick confab with the interested parties, I ordered enough stone to cover the stem wall from grade to the water board. A week later, it arrived in the form of three pallets in my driveway.

The first step is to waterproof the stem wall. This may seem odd you say, but code requires that any conditioned crawlspace require waterproofing. And being me, I went a little overboard. I used both 6mil plastic and building paper. Once the stem wall was wrapped in plastic and building paper, I then started to screw mesh into the ICF backing plates.

Here you can see what it looks like with all of the layers up on the stem wall. The purpose of the mesh is to hold up a layer of mortar, which is exactly the same as a stucco scratch coat. This will then provide a strong surface to which we'll attach the cultured stone.

Here you can see, the entire house wrapped in waterproofing and mesh. The plastic and paper were overlapped above the mesh, so that after installation, I can install Z flashing on top of it all and have a waterproof stem wall.

Oh and you might notice the tiny kennel in the foreground. That's Rooney in there. He was visiting and had a tendency to wander, so he had to hang in the kennel while watching me work.

And, and the mortar is being applied! I had to purchase approximately 1200lbs of mortar, which was then applied in a 3/8 - 1/2 thick layer, all around the house.

This was hard work, to say the least. Each bag of mortar weighed 80lbs. I had to haul this from the street to the concrete mixer, add in 6 liters of water, and then manually trowel it on, one big scoop at a time.

Here you can see the front of the house. The Future Missus and I tag-teamed this. I would work ahead of her, getting the mortar onto the mesh, at the appropriate thickness. She would then follow up behind me, smoothing it out and filling in any hollows I left behind. It worked out great, and goddamn, is she a great worker. This one is definitely a keeper. ;)

Once the concrete cures and stiffens up, it's necessary to then scratch a bunch of horizontal lines in it. This serves to provide additional surface which allows the subsequent coat of mortar to better stick.

You might ask how we did it? Easy! A garden rake!
And here is the final result, a base coat, evenly applied to the whole house. It ended up taking an entire day just applying the scratch coat. It is a lot of work, but it'll look great once the cultured stone is applied.


Mom said...

This little house is really coming along! And yes, she is a good worker - just like her mother - who taught her to be a good worker!

Kay Strebe said...

Ok.....Now who is Rooney and where did he come from...adding new characters at this point is a little confusing. Good thing you have that little red wagon with the cart and....I agree definitely a keeper (it runs in the family :)

Eliska said...

Rooney is his other dog that lives with the ex because he's a chihuahua who wants to murder everyone. I can't handle him (like, literally - he only likes 4 people) and he's mean to Bubba. :(