Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What a day!

Whew. I'm glad this day is over. It was quite stressful from start to finish.

Monday, the contractor was supposed to come and prep for concrete, but due to the rain he wasn't able to do anything. Tuesday they came and despite the rain did prep the site and build the forms. I had a picture, but lost it somewhere :)

This morning, Michelle came over to babysit the kids while I went to my midwife appointment. All went well there... blood pressure was good, baby is fine. I forgot that I was supposed to do my gestational diabetes test today so I didn't watch my diet. So tomorrow Gwen and I will go over to the hospital while Ethan is at school and drink the icky drink and get blood drawn.

I came home to find the contractor and his assistant here, setting up their tools and laying boards to help them transport the concrete from the truck to the backyard. Around noon, the truck showed up and the kids freaked out! They were scared and awed.

Our view from the front porch

We ventured for a closer look. These trucks are bigger than they look!

The concrete started flowing

Ethan could not get enough of this process. He was out there talking with the truck operator for a very long time... over an hour probably. I'd check on him periodically, but the operator (who seemed bored) and Ethan got along peachy and he didn't mind answering the million questions.

The first loads go into the form.

All the excitement was too much for Gwennie-pooh. She'd fallen asleep on the couch, but I'd woken her for lunch. Yet as soon as I turned back around from making my sandwich, she was out again! Eventually she did wake up enough to eat.

Around 1:30, the concrete was all out in the forms and the truck left. We paid the concrete manufacturer directly and it was about $200 more than we'd been told as a rough estimate. Yowch.

The contractor and his assistant smoothed it all out, picked up some of their mess, then left for lunch.

Our yard, already soaked from the two days of rain, is torn up badly from all the wheelbarrowing and walking.

The smoothed out pad. The outer border is where our stamping and color would be put later.

The cluttered backyard

Jason got home before the guys returned from lunch and was able to discuss a few concerns. One, we noticed a slant in the concrete. We expected some, to direct the water away from the house, but it seemed like too much to us. Its not the sort of thing that will affect how a table or chair sits, but to us, who saw it from start to finish, it is noticeable. The pad also seemed higher above the ground than we'd expected. We'd agreed to 1 1/2 inches above ground level, thinking it would be easy enough to add a bit of topsoil and grade slightly so that no one would trip. Our questions were answered, but we still feel like it wasn't done exactly right, or rather, the way we expected it. Perhaps our expectations were wrong, perhaps they didn't do it quite right, but in any case, its done, its in, its finished.

The last step was to stamp the concrete and apply the color.

Finished product.

Close up view. The border looks lighter than the slab now, but the slab will lighten as it cures and the border will be darker. The guy will be back in a few days to seal the border.

It was very stressful being here and seeing everything done and not knowing if it was being done right and if I should say something. I'm so naturally non-confrontational that the thought of saying anything fills me with fear!

Anyway, I think it will all be fine. It will be interesting to see how things change in the next few days as the concrete cures and sets. I can't wait to start working on the yard and bringing the grass up to pad level and planting grass. Our new patio is going to get lots of use this year.


April said...

That looks great, Kristi! Can't wait to check it out in person one of these days!

Take a nap, you deserve it!

Amber said...

It looks great! It will be so nice this summer. Great job!