Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Muscle work out

Back in May, I reported that the deck had been taken down. You can read about it here. What I failed to mention, is that a concrete slab has been added.

The deck still has yet to be rebuilt. For obvious reasons, it's been put on the back burner.

There was already a small slab.. but the idea was to extend it further. When the deck is rebuilt there will be a door of some sort to get underneath it if needed. The idea with the slab is that I can store all my out of season planters, pots etc if needed under there.

I started by making a form from some wood I had laying around. I made certain that the top of the form would make this part of the slab even with what was already there. My helpers were with me the weekend that this was done which was a good thing to have some extra sets of hands. 

Pardon the partial hand in the picture. Stakes were added around the form to give it more support. Once the concrete was poured in, I did not want the form to bow and get all wonky. I held the form together with wood screws. 

 10 bags of concrete initially got me started.. Each weighed 60lbs... you do the math! --Lots of heavy lifting occurred, lemme tell you that!
 Once the form was complete and stable, it was time to add some pea gravel as a base.
 As my helpers finished screwing in some more supports, I began to add the gravel.
 Once the gravel base was added, it was finally time to mix and pour in the concrete. Because of the weight of the concrete and my sub-par wheel barrow, it was determined that only 2 bags could be mixed at a time.
 Getting the right amount of water added to the mix was a little tricky. I didn't want it to be a soupy mess yet at the same time, I didn't want it clumpy.

 The initially amount of concrete was added by the shovel full. I then used a float and smoothed it all out a section at a time.

 Once I realized that 10 bags of concrete were not going to be enough, I moved the edge of the form inward to make a smaller section to fill.

 I continued to add more shovel fulls of concrete until finally it was full. I smoothed the whole thing out and let it set up.

 The end result turned into a decent slab extension. Another 7-8 bags of concrete filled in the section not yet complete in this picture.
There's about a 8" section still not yet complete. The forms still remain for now. But heck, at least it's progress! It's the life of the creative types--- start a zillion projects but take forever to complete them!

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