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- Storm-Ready Design > Episode 6: Faux Columns and a Gunite Pool
Building a Gunite Cement Swimming Pool
Jesse Gonzalez from Mercedes Homes shows Bob how faux columns wrap supporting pillars to give this Florida home a Mediterranean flair. The Styrofoam pillar halves come hollowed to fit the four-by-four post and are filled with adhesive foam to seal it tight. Styrofoam rings finish the columns, which are sprayed with a textured acrylic that is painted to match the house. Blue Haven Pools sprays on and shapes a gunite pool in the back yard, where Tom McNealy explains how the form is first laid out and with two by fours for support and paper-backed mesh to hold back the soil and shape the pool walls. A dry sand and concrete mix is then pumped from a batch truck and mixed with water at the nozzle by an applicator who sprays six inches of gunite across the base and walls. The crew shapes and smoothes the walls, and forms the stairs by hand. Bob finishes in the master bath where an acrylic jetted soaking tub is installed on a bed of sand for a solid seat. This tub is self-draining with rigid PVC pipe that can be cleaned with a bleach and water mixture. It comes ready to install for around $700.
- Part 1: Creating Decorative Styrofoam Columns
- Part 2: Building a Gunite Cement Swimming Pool
- Bob is joined by Tom McNealy of Blue Haven Pools as the crew forms, sprays, and shapes a gunite cement pool. McNealy explains that the excavation was simple, but the crew found some groundwater at the bottom that must be removed with a line that is run and remains in the crushed stone at the base. McNealy shows how the form is established first by the two by fours that are driven and set with outriggers to establish the shape and hold back the soil. The crew then runs steeltex or paper-backed steel mesh to define the walls and floor and hold back the earth. The batch trucks bring the gunite -- a mix of cement and sand -- and pump it through a hose where the sprayer mixes it with water at the nozzle. The walls and the floor have six inches of gunite blown at them. The crew has about 30 minutes to form, shape, and smooth the cement before it sets. The steps and the swim out are sprayed in as a pile then cut and smoothed by hand.
- Part 3: Installing a Soaking Tub With Jets
When hurricanes strike again and again, as they did in Florida in 2004, the effects are devastating. Bob Vila and crew work to completely rebuild a damaged house, using new standards for storm-ready housing. Along the way, Bob investigates a home's vulnerabilities in extreme weather and learns why some building systems fail and others succeed.
Also from Storm-Ready Design
Bob is in hurricane battered Punta Gorda, Florida, to build a storm-ready home in Season 1 of Bob Vila. Bob visits two homes in the same neighborhood, one that was completely destroyed by Hurricane Charley in August 2004, the other that was built to exceed hurricane codes and was left unscathed by hurricane winds and water from the same storm. Scott Buescher of Mercedes Homes shows how enhanced building practices and technologies can create a storm-resistant home, while Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings and Secretary of Community Affairs Thaddeus Cohen discuss rebuilding Florida. Building inspector Randy Cole and Mercedes Homes’ Jesse Gonzalez review the site and watch the pour of a three-stage steam wall that sits below grade and ties the slab foundation to the ground. The resulting foundation will resist water penetration from storm surge by allowing water to move around the foundation without encountering entry points. Bob reviews the house plans with Scott Buescher of Mercedes Homes and learns how the house is constructed as an integrated system. Building connections are emphasized and reinforced rebar and steel mesh are extended from the stem wall to the roof line in preparation for the solid concrete pour that will form the exterior walls.
Bob recaps construction of the stem-wall foundation and integral concrete slab, the vertical steel reinforcing, steel mesh, window bucks, headers, and spacers put in place for the cast-in-place concrete walls. Cameron Parker and the crew of Solid Wall Systems spray the aluminum wall forms with an organic oil spray to prevent adhesion from the concrete and set the forms for the pour. Bob joins Wayne Sallade, Charlotte County Emergency Manager, to review cleanup, demolition, and repair one year after Hurricane Charley. sallade explains that housing built in the 1960s through the 1980s, before the Florida Unified Building Code, had stick framing, gable roofs, and siding. "It didn't stand a chance," he says. Looking at surviving 1920s Florida architecture, it's clear that unified construction, concrete walls, protected windows, and hip roofsare the way to design wind-resistant homes. Back on site, bob watches the pour, learns how the walls and window openings will be vibrated to eliminate voids, and sees the bracing set to hold the walls square before leaving the site to let it cure overnight. Once the forms are removed, Jesse Gonzalez explains how a traditional three-coat Florida plaster job will complete the exterior once the structure has cured for two weeks.
This episode of Bob Vila will focus on roofs, how they are built and tied down to keep structures safe. Leslie Chapman-Henderson from FLASH, the Federal Alliance for Safe Housing, explains how FLASH brings information about safe housing technologies and practices to homes across America, to protect them against floods, winds, hail, and wildfires. Chapman-Henderson explains how a connected house works as a system to beat back the pushing and pulling forces of wind. Randy Shackelford of Simpson Strong-Tie shows Bob the embedded truss anchors that will tie down each truss member of the roof framing, as well as retrofit tie-downs and heavy connectors designed to fight wind uplift forces. Jesse Gonzalez walks Bob through the steel-framed interior that has a master suite and bath, and lots of open space. Bart Cox of Hanson Roof Tiles brings factory-extruded cement clay-look tiles that are pre-drilled for mechanical installation. Dave Peck of D. Peck Roofing explains that stiffer 5/8-inch plywood sheathing, 30 pound felt that is nailed, hot mopped with asphalt, and covered with 90 pound felt makes a strong, water-resistant roof deck for the tiles. Metal nailer boards keep cap tiles in place when wind strikes.
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