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  • Writer's pictureDesertsage Seals

CONSTRUCTING A BUILDING FROM START TO FINISH IN THE MOUNTAINS OF COLORADO (PART I)


Today we're driving out to Bailey, Colorado to drop in on a concrete pour for a job we're doing in the mountains. It's a beautiful morning in early May and spring is in the air. Birds are chirping and children are playing somewhere, but all we hear is the traffic. The highway twists and turns around the mountains, and the city disappears behind us.


I exit at Bailey and take Wellington Lake Road southwest. I've been here before with Tom, our Operations Manager, so I know how to get to the jobsite from here...sort of. The road turns from pavement to gravel to dirt, and I continue down it another seven miles or so. I pass a National Park and I know I've gone too far or missed a turn. I head back.


I make it almost back to Bailey and see two concrete trucks coming down the road. I pull over quick and let them go by so that I can fall in behind them. I know these are our trucks because our pour is scheduled in half an hour. The trucks go by and a big cloud of dust trails along behind them. I point my camera in their direction and pull a recording as I follow them down the dirt road.


We go about nine miles in the same direction and down the same road I had just come from. I see a campground that looks unfamiliar and I think we've gone too far once again. I think maybe these are not our trucks, after all. I see no Gold's Concrete work trucks around and determine I have made a terrible mistake. I head back to Bailey once again and call Tom.


Of course I could have just called Tom in the first place, but I was hoping to find it on my own. "It's about ten miles down Wellington Lake Road," he says. "Great," I said as I slapped myself on the forehead, "thanks." And I headed back down the same road again for the third time. Turns out, if I had driven a few miles further the very first time down, I would've been there a long time ago.


We show up late for the concrete pour because of the delay. And by we I mean you, our readers and myself. A big, beautiful lake surrounded by pine trees and a small campground are nestled into the mountains behind us. I take the camera and film around the jobsite. They've formed up the footers on point and are now pumping in the concrete. We take a blast into the past and listen as Jaime, our subcontractor who is in charge of forming and installing the foundation of this building, explains the initial steps.


"First thing we did was excavate. That's what you see all of this heavy equipment for. Then we form and pour the footers, and on top of those footers we're going to put up walls. On top of the walls they're going to come in with beams, and that's how the building is gonna tie together..."


That footage was captured from the first time we were out on this job. In a previous blog we took a peak behind the scenes at some concerns that Gold's Concrete was having with Jaime's performance on a particular job in Denver. We're going to revisit that job soon and see how things turned out in the end, but in the meantime everything here at this job looks good. I walk around the jobsite and film from different wide angles to capture all of the beautiful landscape as well as the interesting close-ups.


Tim, our pump guy, finishes pumping the concrete into the forms. Jaime and his crew pull measurements and place dowels. Buddy, my Minpin, tries to backfill. You could spend the entire day here just staring at the lake. I have the urge to light a campfire and bring out some hot dogs. Buddy has the urge to dig a thousand holes across the mountain side, just deep enough to trip in.


The sub contractors wrap up and leave quickly. Tim, the last man on the job, cleans out the pump and squares away. I take a few more pictures and head back to Denver to report the day's events to Tom. "Everything went good," I explain to him. "A form blew out in one corner but it was put back together quickly and everything else went smooth...So what's the next step on that job?"


"They're gonna put up the walls," Tom explains. "They're gonna form up one side of the wall, then they tie the rebar in, then they put up the other side of the wall. That way they have room to work on the rebar inside of the wall before closing it in."


Gold's Concrete is constructing the entire building, so we're going to continue to come back throughout the process and see how things go.


I've been having some issues with my camera that came to a culminating point on this shoot when it would no longer zoom. This camera has taken a beating throughout the years, so I'm not surprised that it's starting to malfunction. This is the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II 20.1MP Digital Camera I bought five or six years ago and although it's been a good all-around professional entry-level camera, there are some issues I've had since the beginning. Here's a small list of pros and cons from my experience with this camera:



Pros:

  • The zoom is 16X, so it's really handy for getting close up when you can't physically get close to your subject.

  • Frame rates go all the way from 24fps at 4K resolution, which is the frame rate you would see in a classic movie production, to 120fps, which is a buttery smooth slow motion.

  • It's a bigger camera, especially with the zoom lens, so it looks professional.

  • It's a point-and-shoot, which can be a bad thing but also a good thing because you don't have to fuss with lenses. You can grab it and go.


Cons:

  • The automatic zoom makes a noise that interrupts the recording if you're trying to film and zoom at the same time.

  • The auto focus is horrible. It can track or hold on the subject for sometimes only a second, then will trail off to focus on something else. Worse, it's not a touch screen, so you're constantly having to re-center and re-focus.

  • The image stabilizer inside of the camera causes it to stick when I'm trying to do a smooth pan.

  • It's a point-and-shoot, so you're stuck with one lens and cannot upgrade without buying an entirely new camera.


See the full corresponding video to this blog below.



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