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Completing A Foundation In 10.5 HRS!


In an unprecedented 10.5 hours, Coello & Associates constructed a full 8 foot basement and 850 square foot attached garage foundation from start to finish.


A foundation like the one for this home would typically take a minimum of three days to complete from start to finish. On day one the footings were set up and poured and on day two the same was done for the walls. The walls then sat overnight before the forms could be stripped away. As you can imagine, trying to condense this process into a 12 hour time slot was a challenge. Careful planning was a must, but that was only the beginning.

A proprietary concrete mix supplied by Bend Industries was key to the success of the project. The concrete was designed to reach 8,000 psi after 28 days, which is twice that of the concrete used for our standard foundation walls. Even more important was that the concrete had reached 3000 psi in strength only four hours after the walls were poured. To put that into perspective, the code requires that a foundation wall reach only 2500 psi in 28 days.

This allowed the carpenters to begin quickly decking the home. The foundation was backfilled less than ten hours after the wall pour. When using their standard concrete mix, they recommend waiting a week to ten days before backfilling a foundation for best results.

Coello & Associates’ utilization of Durand aluminum forms with attached hardware also aided in the fast construction of the basement. This advanced forming system helped the crews set the walls both correctly and with extreme efficiency.

While the perfect concrete mix and superior forming system were instrumental in constructing the foundation on time, it also took the determination, skill, and hard work of 36 individuals to truly make the project a success.


For Coello and Associates, it meant 280 man-hours on the site, secretive ground-work, and material donations from Coello and other partner companies.

Following show guidelines, two things had to happen according to Michael Coello, General Manager. First, this had to be a surprise to the family, and second, everything needed to be donated. Sharing this project with only a few key people, Michael got their foundation project organized.

First he went to their suppliers for donations and expertise with the special requirements for the quick-turn-around. Among them were Bend Industries, CertainTeed, Axim, Victory Steel, Tremco Barrier Solutions, and Monarch Windows. In addition to their labor force, equipment and forms, Coello & Associates donated anchor bolts, steel rebar, and foundation insulation.

A foundation this size, completed in a ‘normal’ timeframe, would typically cost approximately $25,000.

Michael called a company meeting and said “We have a tremendous opportunity to change a family’s life, and that it would happen through this show. The employees were tremendously excited to do it. I didn’t have to say another word – no one declined.”

Michael Coello says constant lightning and bad weather threatened throughout the evening. Coello crews started in shifts — staging the first 12 at 4 pm on the 1st, then 3 hours later adding another 11, then 3 hours later adding the remaining group for a total of 35, who all worked until Michael started sending them home after 3 am.


On a professional level, the recognition of their company’s role in the project may not necessarily bring them more work, but Michael believes it will help to reinforce their company brand recognition, something they try to work on constantly. Michael also believes this project was a step towards ‘walking the talk’; to show that as a company Coello and Associates can do projects like this that are out of the box and display their ability to work with different specs and standards.

On a personal level, Michael says “We only get so many chances in life to affect other peoples lives. This was our chance. I felt that because they came to us and thought we were the ones that could meet this dying man’s needs, then we were the ones. It gave us great satisfaction and wonder to be a part of this.”

Enjoy these comments from Coello employees who helped with this project:

Tom Poznanski – It was a great honor to participate in an experience which will be televised. It made me feel good knowing that I helped the family/homeowners in a personal way to improve the quality of their home.

Jason Terhardt – My experience was awesome. This job was unique and was a challenge in many different ways. From a timeline that most of us never had encountered to a concrete mix that was such a fast setting product. The whole job site has such a great feeling that it basically gave you a rush from start to finish. To top it all off you have a crowd of people watching you and cameras all over the place making you feel like you are being privileged to be on that particular job site.

Scott Blaskowski – I felt a great sense of pride in what we accomplished. I’m sure it is something I will talk about for years to come. Being able to help this family out and being given the opportunity to work on this project by our boss reaffirmed what we try to do here at Coello & Associates… “Fulfill Peoples Dreams”. Thanks for the opportunity. It was incredible to see what could be done with concrete also. The suppliers we worked with were awesome and the mix design did everything we needed perfectly!!

Keith Mittelstaedt – Not only am I very proud to have helped out in this special project, but I feel very privileged as well. It was a very impressive project with a lot of thought and heart put into it. The amount of good people and volunteers is also overwhelming. So many people with so much skill all brought together to tackle this feat was amazing. I hope I was able to help make a family’s dream come true.

Ben Reinke – I feel that it was a great honor to be able to participate in the Home Makeover project. From start to finish I was filled with excitement and adrenalin just trying to take in everything that was going on around the site. It is truly amazing to see a project like this take place with all the contractors and volunteers working so hard and in sync to accomplish this dream. I will never forget the events that took place that night. Thank you for the awesome opportunity.

John Reuteler – As a fan of the show I know the highs and lows the family feels during this process. It was a great feeling to be part of their high. It was also a new challenge for me personally. It was not the most difficult house but the timeline we had to finish it in was a real challenge. To do a job in under 12 hours that usually takes 3 days was a new high for me.


In addition to CFA member Coello & Associates, other CFA members who were partners in this home construction were CertainTeed Form-a-Drain, Durand Forms, LaFarge North America, Tremco Barrier Solutions Horizon, and Monarch Manufacturing.

Steve Gross, Director of Marketing for CertainTeed wrote in to say “We are honored that Coello & Associates recommended Form-A-Drain to help form a solid foundation for the Koepke’s home. Form-A-Drain was chosen because of its unique three-in-one offering, as it served as a sturdy footing form during the ‘Extreme Makeover’ construction, and will provide foundation drainage and radon evacuation benefits for years to come.”

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