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Corley construction updates

Rob and Josh appear to be right on schedule, building their house on Corley. October was to be stucco month and there it is, going on. [Blog history]

The other place on the street I’ve been following is the one I call the Corley Half House. It’s been nearly two years since occupants of both sides of the semi-detached homes had to be evacuated. A basement-lowering mishap on the missing side necessitated complete removal of that side. The other side remains standing, but still empty.

At last, there is evidence of activity on the site. Cleaning up the foundation will be interesting. Shortly after the initial collapse, a crew was called in to pour 4 feet of concrete through the basement windows, to stabilize things before the compromised side was completely torn down. Workers said everything in the basement … furnace, appliances, etc., would be encased. Now, I guess it all has to be dug out … carefully.

Time to rename?

I’ve been referring to the developing house on Corley as a pied-à-terre but now that it’s up more than two storeys, perhaps deux-pieds-à-terre would be more suitable.

The part above the second storey is not another storey, but a short shelter area, only 6 feet or so high. Perhaps it will serve as a covering over a stairway to a top deck. That would be kinda neat. It would feel like a tree fort up there.

Above: A reminder of what used to occupy the space.

Corley updates

After a fast start, work on the interesting little infill house on Corley Avenue suddenly stopped. I thought builders Rob and his son Josh might have taken a sunny holiday break.

Red tape illustrated by Bill

No such luck. I bumped into them the other day at the Flying Pony. Red tape is the reason for the hold up. It’s not a story that reflects well on our city inspection game, but I won’t bore you with the details. Good luck, Rob and Josh. Patience.

There’s even less to report on the Corley half-house. The part that had to be removed after a disastrous basement-lowering remains unrestored and the remaining side continues to be unoccupied.

Drama pours from Beach Hill

Innovative foundation forms mentioned here earlier were slated for filling with concrete on Wednesday, but a burst water main blew that plan. The rescheduled Thursday pour had its moments of drama, too.

 Once the Golfview sinkhole mess cleared, a pumper truck was parked near the foundation forms. Its huge, articulated boom can swing a pipe full of liquid concrete to any part of the site. A cement mixer truck fills the pumper.

Two cement trucks, actually. One couldn’t hold enough concrete, so once the first one has emptied itself, another one takes its place.

The idea is to have a continuous, monolithic pour. Timing matters, so there was a period of dramatic tension, waiting for the second truck. It was delayed in Kingston Road traffic.

After a bit of a nail-biter, the pour was completed and everything turned out fine.

Comic relief

dick-putz Dick and Putz? Really?

Up they go

nudura-risingContinued from earlier post …

Shooting to be ready for a concrete pour next week, father and son team Rob and Josh are well into their Nudura insulated foam block foundation project.

This is their first time using the product, but both men are experienced in construction. Rob also mentioned assistance that would not have been available, not so long ago. If there are questions, they get answers by snapping cellphone photos and texting to Nudura advisors.

See the grey metal strips at the base of the forms? That’s steel railing bolted to the concrete pad. It will hold the sides in place when heavy liquid concrete is poured in from the top. Reinforcing rods are already inside the forms, held in place by plastic spacers.

A happier Corley foundation story

Nothing new to report on that Corley house that nearly collapsed. Still braced, still unoccupied. Another lot on Corley Avenue did provide some interest, though.


We saw a man assembling giant lego pieces in a newly-dug foundation pit. He had just started work, but I was the fourth person to ask what he was making.

Rob turned out to be an affable guy, quite willing to tell us about an amazing foundation-building product … Nudura insulated concrete forms. Canadian product, too.


Eighteen-inch tall blocks snap together, seated on a good, pre-poured concrete pad. Plastic spacers click into place and hold rebar rods in position while concrete is pumped into the forms. Drywall can be applied directly to the inside walls … no need for studs, further insulation or moisture barrier. Neat and sweet!

I have a standing invitation to follow the site as it progresses. The plan is to make a nice, little house in a space that used to hold a couple of garages. Promising beginning.


Josh is Rob’s son, I believe.