The Concrete Patio

As we wait for our permit to be approved from city hall for the addition we want to build on the back of our house, there are a few yard projects to do in the meantime.





We had this really old garage in our backyard.  The back half had pretty much crumbled, the roof leaked like crazy and it was just really old and not functional.  We decided to tear it down.  

This is our floor plan.  As you can see, to the left, against our neighbour's house and garage, we have a patio.  This is where the garage use to be.



As Mark pushed the rest of the walls down, he had a small audience.  My girls watched with little enthusiasm, but Edith got pretty excited.



It took me weeks to clean up.  Behind the garage were layers of dirt, cat poop and garbage.  About 4 feet worth.  The rubble took forever to load up and take to the dump.  And then I had to dig down for the patio base.



 I saved what bricks I could though, and traded them on BUNZ, of course.  This riot of a man from Bosnia came and took them all away.  He was hilarious.  He asked me to marry his son.  He brought us all sorts of gifts.  I like people like him.



Once the rubble was all taken away, I leveled the dirt, rented a soil compressor and packed down the ground, and layed a base of 3/4" gravel.  It took about 5 yards of gravel to fill the space.  That was a lot of work.  Finally, the forms were in place, the expansion barriers were placed along the house foundation and the slab, and the rebar was layed.



You know how you have those friends that are just really convenient and useful friends to have?  I'm friends with the Puddicombe's, and they own a concrete store.  They hooked me up with rebar and lent me all sorts of useful tools.

I tied all the rebar together on Friday afternoon.  This nifty red thing twisted the ties together and clipped them off.  For each tie, I had to squat to set it up, stand to pull the twister, squat to unclip.  By the end, my thighs were burning!


I had the sweetest little helper.  She stepped on all the wire twisty's and bent them over so they wouldn't pop any tires. 




Then, the big moment arrived.  It felt like my birthday.  After weeks of digging, hauling rubble and shoveling gravel, this was pretty exciting.  We rented wheelbarrows and a bull float from Stephenson's rentals.  They gave me a discount for renting 4 wheelbarrows at a time, and I was able to book all the tools earlier that week.  I was very impressed with them.



Of course we had a concrete party.  I asked some of my burly neighbours to help slug concrete in exchange for a BBQ party and beer.  They were happy to help.



The kids watched from the front porch.  It was exciting for them, too.



Ian and I leveled out the concrete as Tim, Casey, Darin and Mark dumped it in.



I tried to do the bullnose float part, but I wasn't strong enough to handle it.  Ian was much better.  You can't see it in the photo but he's totally wearing my pink polka dot boots. 



Hannah was imitating his super-hero moves.



It took about 2 hours, and then we stopped for supper.



We'll be putting a small shed on our patio and using the space for an outdoor eating space.  I'd love to build some planters around the perimeter.  But that's a project for another time.
 

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