Sunday, February 17, 2008

Patio Pour

This is our back door moments before the sunken outdoor living room started to be poured.

We used to have to duck to walk under that back deck, and look at it now! It already looks remarkably like the plans.

The retaining walls are nice and beefy, and will have drainage behind them, as well as under the slab.

Here's a shot into the rebar reinforcing the walls/benches

And a shot from above showing the corner radius and our built-in firepit! That diagonal trench is for the gas line so we can have one propane tank next to the house that feeds both the bbq and the firepit.

You can see the slope of the benches which will make them more comfortable to sit in.

This is the coolest concrete truck I've ever seen! (and I've seen my fair share of concrete trucks recently..)
It has a wall down the middle with cement on one side and the aggregate on the other. They hooked it up to our hose and mixed the concrete on the spot. It was WAY louder than the usual trucks, but there's no waste. The guys working had mixed opinions though.. because it's mixed on demand the mixture can be adjusted for conditions, but it also is less consistent than a pre-mixed truck, so every so often they'd need to stop and readjust it. I took a little video of the truck in action, and you can see that the concrete was waay thicker than it should be. That was easily corrected a minute later, but someone has to be paying close attention at all times. I think it's the coolest thing ever, plus it has the advantage of not only being very environmental, since there's no extra concrete that needs to be dumped at the end of a day; but it's also very good for the bottom line, since you only pay for what you use, which means it's much more likely more businesses would use it.

The video:

I won't bore you with the million shots of concrete flowing into the forms, but this one shows the rebar in the steps, along with the box for a light.

This is the concrete being poked and prodded to make sure there are no air pockets, and that the concrete completely fills the forms

And then the really cool part started..

These are the latex stamps which are just about to be used to pound a texture into the fresh concrete.

Once the concrete sets up enough for the forms to be removed, a skim coat with color is buttered on. The pigment is also a hardening agent, so it makes the surface even sturdier.

Expansion joints were cut at random, to make it look less like concrete and more like giant, very conveniently curved, slabs of slate. They even had a chisel which cut edges that looked just like the uneven edges of a piece of slate.

Then an accent color is dusted on and the pounding begins. It's a race for time at this point, as the concrete needs to be hard enough to take the texture, but not so hard that it won't.

I took a little video of the stamping too.. It was quite a team effort, and very labor intensive


After a couple days it's pressure washed, then about a month later it'll be sealed which also brings out the colors. Since neither of of those things have happened yet, I didn't take too many pictures of where it's at right now. They'll be pouring the patio slab on Wednesday (assuming the no rain holds up for awhile longer), so there will be many more pictures to come.

And now, I've got to get back to my giant stack of bricks.. they're not going scrub themselves.


Aimee said...

Wow! How neat! I can't wait to see it when it's all done, it looks like it is going to be an amazing space.

Kitt said...

Tripping the light fandango indeed! When's the party?