Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Delivery

Well, I took today off as I expected a delivery bloke to drop a new package off for me today. I was not disappointed as I got the call in the morning that all was well with the schedule and he'd be around mid afternoon.

So at about 2:00 pm a big truck arrived. Well, it had to be didn't it - the delivery was for my new Titan Carport and Patio! So the blokes got busy and started to unload the gear.

I'd been at it since mid-morning filling in the edges around the concrete slabs and leveling out the humps. By delivery time I was pretty well into it and as I type this missive, my back is killing me!  Lack of exercise probably doesn't help, but shoveling dirt into a wheel barrow and sifting through it by hand to remove stones, concrete, grass and such for hours on end, has really done me in.

So the guys stacked the gear for the Patio out the back along the side fence and the Carport gear went down the side of the house with the A-frames on the front slab.

The posts now-a-days are not held up by stirrups that are set in the slab any more. Instead, they use base plates and slide the posts over them and bolt them down to the slab with some dyna-bolts.

After all was done and I'd packed away my tools, I got out a beer or two and hosed down the slabs to get all the dirt off them I'd put there by walking all over them all day with my barrow full of dirt. This of course led me to almost fall asleep watching the news!  But I survived the massive pull to nod off and am at the PC now.

So hopefully in the next week or two, the Rigel boys will be out to assemble my big meccano set.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Friday - The Driveway

On the Friday just over a week back, the fellas came back and got ready for another days work - this time probably only a half day. They had to lay concrete across the dusty plains of my driveway. Finally after 20 odd years I was getting a real one instead of the dust, dirt and mud I had.

The reinforcing was down, the boxing in place - they were ready to go. And off to work I went - so I missed the pour. But the results speak for themselves - a nice one fellas - very nice indeed.

So since Saturday week back, I have been watering all three of my slabs both morning and evening with an extra few drops when I was around during the day. Never hurts to keep it wet. But my young neighbour next door, who already thinks this old coot is crackers, now thinks I'm trying to grow carrots or something by all the watering - I just told him I'm part Greek and this is how you get the concrete green!

So during the week I've been slowly picking all the leftover concrete rubble and stones out of the dirt and filling in the holes where the boxing used to be. Another hand full of full days still to get it all mickey mouse, but its getting there.

The Patio and Carport materials will all be delivered from the Titan blokes some time this coming week. So it won't be long now till cover is in place for my trusty old Camry and from backdoor to shed.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday - The Pour

So Thursday started about 07:30 with the boys arriving and getting setup for the concrete pours. The back patio area would be first cab off the rank. The carport would then follow, with the driveway coming on Friday.

All the boxing was checked and readied. The plastic lining was then added as well as the steel reinforcing mesh and standoffs. The remaining mesh you see in the above shot is for the front carport and driveway.

Then the big truck arrived and drove in as far as possible. 

The blokes would be using wheel barrows to move the concrete from truck to the patio area. 

While the concrete was being barrowed in, others were raking it out and still more were leveling it and troweling it around.

Once the concrete started hardening sufficiently, the helicopter was brought out to smooth it all out nicely. The boxing also started being removed from around the place.

Here we see pretty much the completed patio area.

And my new ramp. I suppose I'll now have to sort out some sort of railings to stop people falling off it..

The next step was for another truck load of concrete and the carport area. Here is the carport area almost ready for pouring.

So the fellas finished the steel mesh and boxing out front and then in came the truck. This time no wheel barrows were needed, as the trucks spout could easily reach all the required areas. The fellas just had to spread it around, level it and trowel it all down.

Here is a video I made out of a few photos, showing the concrete pour for the carport. It took 40 minutes to pour and level - not bad fellas - I couldn't do it better myself!

And of course after a good concrete pour, you wash out your truck spout.

The blokes then did the boxing for the driveway for tomorrow and put in the reinforcing and such. On the right you can see the rain down pipe (in white) - It will be running uphill to the gutter on the road - only a lift of about 300-500mm.

Also the concrete was dry enough to helicopter in the carport area by now.

So until Friday and the driveway. Pity I'll be at work, but at least I'll have a driveway when I come home.

Wednesday - The Prep

So on Wednesday the digger bloke arrives at 7:00 and starts checking out the place to see what he needs to do so that my new Titan carport and patio can be built. At about 7:30 the plumber shows up and does the same. Just before both are ready, the head honcho for the concrete comes and checks it all out and minor adjustments are made. Digging starts as does the pegging out of where it all goes.

To save on money, a dirty big hole was dug in the backyard where the old shed used to be since there are no services there to be buggered up. This allowed all the spoil and concrete and stuff that gets dug up to be buried. So this will save me two ways - it saves me on dumping and cartage fees as well as saves me having to buy about 10 or so metres of soil to put out back to level the yard - win win for me and saves on time for the fellas doing the work, as no waiting around for the dump truck to return from the tip all the time.

So here are two shots of the front of the house showing the old dirt driveway before the earthworks began.

Here we are heading down the side of the house and looking over the spot where the old brick shed used to be that has turned into a botonical garden of weeds since the shed went.

Now here is the back door to my place. A few things will be happening here. The awning obviously has to go to make way for the patio and a new concrete ramp is going in. So the old garden, ramp and little besser brick wall will go. I'll have a longer and slightly wider ramp put in.

In prep work I did myself the other day, I had to move the mailbox a few metres along the front garden edge and cut the timber edging to make sure it didn't rip up when the earthworks began. At the same time I then had to cut a few tree roots for the same reason. The tree roots are from the large Poincianas on the footpath and they are all over the place and large ones at that (over 150mm). I had to get the big docking saw out and cut it that way (faster too). You can also see I had to rip up a few metres of paving to make way for the new carport as well.

Of course I then made myself scarce and headed to the train club (only got around to fixing one loco of mine all day) and some errands and to try and get rid of the big headache I've had for a few days. They say the flu shots don't give you the flu, but I reckon Murphy hasn't heard that and always gives me a good cold around this time of year.

So when I get home around mid afternoon, the diggers are done and the boxing is up and ready for most of the work in the backyard and the front is dug out and ready for boxing in the morning.


The pest control dude was also still there and putting in the lines where he will eventually pump the poison in for termite control. Now earlier when I mentioned the plumber, you all nodded your heads knowing that roofs need draining and hence the water fella was required. But I also needed him for the back door ramp. There was a large concrete breather at the side of the ramp where the laundry also drained into, as does the toilet. It had to move to make way for the larger ramp. Also while we were at it, the 3 drain pipes from the bathroom upstairs were moved from the back wall along the ramp to another wall so as to make access to/from the house on the ramp a little wider again. The plumber was finally able to complete the job just after the sun went down.

The last thing is the back of the "garage" which is my storage area now. I used to have a very solid brick and concrete step there. It had to go as well, resulting in one heck of a drop from the back roller door! 

It will be replaced in due time with a full width of the garage, twin step. Here is the old step and old awning languishing in the back yard.

Thursday will see the concrete coming.