Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sidewalks - Part 1

Mike Driscoll had dropped off some of his equipment at 3283 on Wednesday. So, he was ready this morning at 7:30 when he and Mark, his 'crew' showed up. They unloaded forms and went to work on laying out the sidewalks to the west [front] of the cottage.

I'm a pretty rectilinear guy. [Which of you immediately thought: "Yup, Square"?] I think in rows and columns. A 90 degree angle is called "right" for a reason. The earth may be round...and natural things tend to have curves. But, plumb lines, squares and levels are the traditional tools of builders. That said, I agreed that the sidewalks that will define the paths to walk around 3283 could have some curves to them. The longest sections would be straight, but corners would be rounded and walkways adjacent to the porches would also have curves.

I guess the concrete trade has given in to curved construction. Mike had some really cool plastic forms that could be bent to the shapes we wanted. I am proud to say Bobbie allowed me to be here alone with the contractor to decide on the final 'curvy' shapes.

Mike dropped off this equipment yesterday.
The first curve gets shaped along the north side of the front walk.
A much more complex curve shaped the south west edge of the front walk.
The west walk curves into the long straight walk on the south of the cottage.

Initial form work from the existing concrete pad to the front  of 3283.
The forms were in place, and the subgrade prepared for concrete by 10:30 or so this morning. The redi-mix truck was due by 11:00. But, it didn't show til after 11:30. When it did, Mike used a neat bucket attached to his little Cat to move the concrete from the drive to the front and side of the house.
Seems like the Huizenga Clan has diversified beyond
Waste Management, Blockbuster and Auto Nation......
Concrete was put into the 'bucket' from the truck.
Mike moved the concrete to the forms in front.
There Mark shoveled it into place.
The long walk adjacent to the south side
of the cottage was the last to be poured today
Once the concrete was poured and shoveled into place the guys went to work screeding, floating and finishing the walkway that was completed today. Concrete finishing is an art, and Mike and Mark did a nice job.
 When the three cubic yards from today's delivery were finished Mike and Mark and I started to lay out the forms for the area between the back entry porch, the sidewalk along the south wall, the garage and a new walk to the driveway. This was expected to be complex because of the limited area and the elevation differences needed among the walks.  And, we wanted to keep the curved edges to the walkways. Mike removed a small section of old sidewalk adjacent to the garage and outside shower which allowed the slope toward the garage to be less steep. and through trial-and-error we managed to get the curved edges of each of the four walks to line up quite well.

The flexible forms have been staked temporarily. We'll leave them in place overnight to allow me to think about the shape of the future walk. If, as I expect, there are no changes these forms will be finalized first thing in the morning. Then the relatively straight walk to the drive will be formed. And the rest of the walks poured.

Below are pictures of the forms between the steps and garage. If any family or close friends have thoughts or ideas on this please contact me tonight. Otherwise the size and shape will be, literally, cast in concrete tomorrow.

And...Here's how the first half of 3283's sidewalks looked at 5:00 this afternoon. Sorry about the shadows and piles of top soil. But you should get a good idea of the work that was done today. Pictures of the second half tomorrow ... unless the storms come early.

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