Concrete Added to Sidewalks, Outdoor Kitchen, and Ramp Storage Area

November 06, 2011 - Try as we might during the planning stage, there were a number of things we had to fix once the building was built. One of those items was the amount of flatwork needed around the building. Flatwork includes concrete walks, driveways, patios, and floors for the storage shed. This week we poured another 9 yards of Redimix concrete to places we came up short on when we did our initial pours in August.

For example, ADA codes required a 36 inch sidewalk around the building. We made ours 48 inches, but did not take into account that when the doors are open, they block most of the sidewalk. This caused people to walk in the dirt around the doors. Not good. For our wet bar area we thought we would use some old pavers, but that made for a less than smooth surface to walk on. So, we decided to pour a thin concrete slab on top of the pavers to make a nice floor. Perhaps the most challenging pour came with our decision to pave the area under the ADA ramp which has become an important storage space.

It took a full week to form out all these new areas. Since it has not rained in a while, the ground was hard as a rock and required a lot of pick-ax work. Our calculations determined we would need a total of 8 yards of concrete, so we ordered 9. We called to Porter Redimix and were given a price of $75/yard for a 3000 psi large aggregate mix. There is no delivery charge if you order 6 or more yards. When the pour was over, we had less than 2 wheelbarrows of extra concrete (which we sent back to the yard where it is recycled into road gravel).

We scheduled the pour for Friday at 11:00am, and brought in several additional workers to help with the work. We had men who took care of moving and spreading the mix (via wheelbarrows), and men who leveled and finished it. The truck arrived on time, and we began by pouring the cement in front of the building. We moved next to the outdoor kitchen, and finally, worked under the ADA ramp. The truck is only supposed to spend 60 minutes on the job site before they begin charging $1/minute for any time over 1 hour. Ronnie, our truck driver allowed us an additional 50 minutes with no additional charge. He even helped us spread some of the concrete.

Pouring concrete is as much of an art as a science.The cement mix heats up after it is poured and we had to wet it down in some cases to prevent it from curing prematurely. Finishing the area under the ramp was tricky because of the fact that it is so large and confined by the walls surrounding it. The finish under the ramp is not as smooth as the other areas we worked on, but overall, the concrete pour turned out fine.

Next week we will continue working on some small sections of trim, and getting the lease spaces ready for showing.

Category: Container Building,