Sunday, May 22, 2022

Front Porch Part 2

It has been another busy few months in the Sheep Family Compound. For a number of reasons our DIY activities have been in the background over the last few months, but finally one of our projects has reached the stage where it can be transcribed onto the modern equivalent of a stone tablet.

If 2020 and 2021 were side yard and raised beds summers, then 2022 is definitely a front yard summer, staring with the porch and the entrance to the house. This is how I left off the weekend before the Christmas holidays. I knew it would be a few months before I could work on this project again, so I spread some pea gravel on the area we walk through.

This time around I had Amy Sheep start digging out for the porch extension. 

While that was going on, I set to work destroying the concrete steps that I didn't finish last time.. 

This was the result after plenty of loud jackhammering and more than enough digging:

I installed rebar and built forms for the right side first - the expanded porch is too big to pour in one go, and I can save money on lumber by purchasing half of what I need and using the same boards twice.

Some very labor-intensive concrete procurement later...

...then just add one concrete mixer, one Amy Sheep... one Delilah... 

...and that equals the first section all done!

This is a week or two later with the forms removed:

Finished up digging out at the left side - we left this bit as long as we could because this is the bit we mostly walk across.

Unfortunately, the existing hose bib runs right through the area where the porch will be expanding at the left side. I will have to replace it at some point, probably after Amy Sheep gets fed up with using a watering can.

This is later, after the rest of the rebar has been installed and the forms constructed...

..and the porch has been refilled with yet another batch of bagged ready-mix.

Luckily, Amy Sheep was on hand again to operate the concrete mixer.

Just a few minutes after this photo was taken...

...this happened - and it wasn't Delilah: 

Fortunately, I was able to smooth things out:

This is another week later, and we're all ready to pour the new edge of the upper step: 

This was a small ten bag pour, so really did not take very long. We left it until the late afternoon to pour the concrete so that the porch would be shaded. The curing time can be significantly reduced in direct sunlight which negatively affects the concrete's strength.

All done...kind of. This is just the porch skeleton; the porch, steps and the entrance pathway are going to be paved in the not-too distant future. Stay tooned!

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