This post comprises 3 working days on the project. The first and last days were too small for me to want to post separately about them and they are all related.
On Friday (April 27) the driveway leveling was completed using the bobcat which was also used to tamp it down.
One of this project’s goals were to change the grade of the driveway such that the top portion would be on less of a grade than before to make it easier to get into and out of a car if you were in the turnaround pad and to make it easier to load and unload any vehicles near the house.
We also widened the driveway such that we can now park cars along one side while allowing other cars to get past them so that people should no longer need to park in the street when we have guests over.
To accomplish both goals consumed all of the earth dug out from the back yard and necessitated the creation of the modular retaining wall to accommodate the extra dirt used for leveling.
A pleasant side-effect of needing a place to store the dirt was that the grass / weeds in the front yard have largely been obliterated and we now have a clean slate to start again with either some more robust (and slow growing) grass or something completely different.
Also on this day the outside portion of our old half-bathroom window was covered over by some vinyl siding that was repurposed from some other part of the house. A quick pressure washing will have it looking ship shape. The entire deck area will be pressure washed shortly to get rid of most of the dirt and grit from the construction work.
On Saturday the cement trucks arrived. I think it took a total of 4 of them for this pour. I was very happy to be around for the whole job this time. The first truck had trouble backing up the grade of the driveway and eventually gave up and the next truck came and did it. I’m not sure if this is to do with the skill / aggressiveness of the driver or just the treads on the tires but it was something to watch the truck rev up and then hurtle its way up the driveway.
The cement was much courser than that used on our deck
As usual, the J&A crew worked like a well oiled machine. Everybody seemed to know what to do and where to do it. It was a marvel to see them in action
While the cement pour was going on, Michelle was meeting with a Landscape Architect (Jim Collins). He was supposed to review the entire yard, front and back and create drawings that we could use to fill our now barren areas. Unfortunately he found the cement activity a bit too distracting and wasn’t able to do the front yard. The back yard drawing looks pretty good and incorporated much of what Michelle had expressed. But the price was pretty steep @ $125/hr and 3.5 hours. Does anybody know if that’s reasonable? Does it make sense to have him back for the front? He knew his stuff but I’m much happier knowing the price before we do the job.
Also, any opinions on the plan would be welcome.
Meanwhile the work continues
And things start to look more finished
And here they begin cutting the expansion joints (or crack directors)
Work for today stopped short of the to-be-stamped areas
On Monday J&A came back and poured, colored and stamped the base of the driveway and the walkway to the front patio
We were a bit freaked out at first since Michelle had originally asked for the color to be “Smokey Blue” but then called back and changed it to be “Pecan Tan”. As you can see it looked WAY more like the Smokey Blue than Tan.
It turns out that the grey/blue stuff is just the releasing agent. The cement will be pressure washed in a few more days and we’ll get to see it’s real color then. When this was done on our back deck we were just leaving for vacation and did not see that part of the process.
Also the electrics have been largely roughed in. If you look closely you can see where the outlets and light fixtures will be going on the back wall of the lanai
And the downspout for our supergutter has been installed and hooked into our new drainage system
We did have a mishap today and now some extra ventilation now in the laundry room. That was my excitement for the morning.
Now we are waiting for the inspectors to OK the electrical rough-in and then we can finish that up. Michelle is still looking for sconces / lighting fixtures – hopefully this will be faster than the rock wall decision but that was such a smashing success that I suppose good things do come to those who wait.
I am told that the vinyl for the pool should be in any day now and all is ready to begin that installation. Best case scenario has the pool filled by this coming weekend.