The weather held off and I was able to pour the new concrete curb around the basement opening. I built the decking portion yesterday but didn’t have the time or enough bags of concrete to finish it with rain on the way. There is a chance of thunderstorms tonight so I may cover the area real quick in a little while just as a precaution.
I used the Sakrete online calculator to see how much concrete I would need for the little area I was working with. Their site claimed 1.3 bags, but it really was more like 2 bags. I will offer the brief disclaimer that this is the first time I attempted something like this, but I feel like I watched enough of it done on loading docks, etc. while I worked in commercial construction.
I removed the decking platform and secured a couple pieces of 2×4′s to serve as forms to give the concrete a nice flush vertical surface when removed. The decking platform can then be put back in the pit in a couple days and everything should be flush and sturdy.
The two pressure treated 2x4s running perpendicular to the curb in this picture are Tapcon screwed into the brick. This allows the platform to sit bear on top of the two sides but also be removable should I (God forbid) need to go down in the pit again.
Some day soon I hope my Dad will finally get a new power washer that I can use to wash a bazillion years of filth off the patio. I’m no professional so some excess got smeared around the area as I tried to smooth the concrete out. Once the concrete sets up I’ll pull the forms and set the decking back in place. I may try and get the thing painted before it goes back in place.
That’s all for now. I am leaning towards Cedar for the fence slats. I am going to try and start setting the posts at the end of this week weather permitting.
I know you all must have been thinking I gave up on the patio project already, so I had to get something done as the rain finally decided to subside for the afternoon.
This morning marked one of the more expensive Depot trips since the push to move in here. I will say that I am very thankful I only need to build two roughly 12 ft runs of fence because all of the lumber and brackets added up fast.
Two things are sad about this picture:
1) Some 2x6s, 2x4s, brackets and bolts cost way more then you’d think.
2) The garage has again been made very difficult to walk through.
My Dad came down to help me fill in the pit today. I am beginning to find that alot of things/materials/products I initially say I am interested in or am going to use don’t end up being in the final plan. After bricking the curb I demo’d back up to about 4 1/2″ from the top of the concrete patio I used pressure treated 2x4s and a leftover 2×12 we had used as scaffolding when exposing the brick months ago to build a platform. With Trex and similar products costing approximately $16 for a 12 ft board, I decided to save some money by just using all pressure treated lumber. This also voided the need to buy one of those metal window well covers.
I still have a little more concrete to pour this week but this lengthy project which served to gain back a valuable 9 s.f. in the corner of the patio is finally wrapping up.
I know its not pretty yet, but its sturdy, removable in the event access to down below is needed, paintable, flush with the patio, and cost about $16 plus the bag or two of concrete to fill in the cinder blocks in this picture. I think I will paint it grey or whatever color I paint the stairs.
It should easily support the bistro set, couches, grill, or whatever ends up residing in that corner, maybe even more plants. I still haven’t decided what to do with the old door. It may get boarded up and shingled just like the garage wall, but I won’t get to that until the fence is up. Also the areas the deck and bilco door used to block need to get painted with some special masonry paint I bought recently.
Hopefully get the concrete done this week and start on the fence next weekend.
Not a lot to say here other then I am very impressed that I took so many pictures from similar spots of such an insignificant area of the house. Its lack of importance allowed some of the trim to go unpainted until a month or so ago. Like many of the rooms in my house you will notice a few areas of missing baseboard, but there are several new pieces in the basement just begging for some motivation to finish trimming out the house.
This will be a pretty picture heavy post, but they are usually the best. Like the other before and afters I have done, lets start back in August of 09′…
Yes that is wall paper… Its like a Jackson-Pollock painting and Spin Art collided. Thankfully that wall didn’t stand very long. The closet didn’t last either. I do wish there was a was to have retained the transoms, but oh well.
Here is an even better shot of the wall’s glory.
And then some demo:
New stairs, new walls, insulation, exposed brick. It sat in this state for a month or so until drywall.
Floors sanded and drywall primed:
On the 2nd or 3rd coat of poly on the floors:
Hand rail taking shape:
Hand rail installed:
Railing and treads in stain/seal process. As I mentioned in my stair post…what pain all of this was. In this picture I hadn’t even started painting the risers yet.
Its amazing how much time and how many steps went into an area only used to access other rooms. I would eventually like to replace the office like framed golf posters with some other things and maybe hang something on the exposed brick, but for now the area is drastically improved. The pesky skylight just above that rug has also stayed dry for some time now. With the interior projects almost phased out I should have almost all of my time to dedicate to the patio and garage…with the exception of the shower door I still need to buy and install.
More to come.
Plumbing problems and weather have caused progress on the patio to stall.
Some time last week I ran the dishwasher before work and came home to water all over the basement. Running the washing machine confirmed my suspicion that something was really clogging the sewer somewhere after it left the house and backing up through the point of least resistance…where the washer drains. Trying to be cost conscious, my Dad and I attempted to snake the drain ourselves. After several hours of struggle, we thought that we had been successful…that would have been too convenient and also the ideal situation. I ran the washer again Sunday and had it overflow, albeit a little less. I guess we pushed whatever was clogging it a little further downstream.
Today I had to have a plumber come out and snake the drain as I was unable to unclog it myself. While he was unable to get a camera down the line due to its size and the number of bends in the first few feet of the line as it leaves the house, he was able to get 45′ of snake down the line. Quick math of the patio being 12′ deep and the garage being 28′ deep lead me to hope whatever was in the line atleast got pushed all the way into the main in the alley. One load of laundry and a shower later, we are still good…fingers crossed.
Saturday my Dad and I did some brick work to replace the curb demo’d out on the patio. I backfilled the gap between the new brick and the underside of the existing patio slab with a couple bags of concrete. I have one more bag to add to the front edge of the pit to get it level and high enough for the cover to go on. After much thought on the metal grate I talked about in an earlier post, I have decided to go with an alternative. I am going to use pressure treated 2×4′s with a layer of grey trex deck boards on top, all flush with the concrete patio. I figure this will keep less water and crap from getting down into the pit. This route also should make people less leery to stand, sit, be, anywhere near the pit. It will probably make it easier to set furniture and pots on and around that area.
I’m out of town this coming weekend but if I can get 2 non-rainy days in a row I’ll finish up the concrete and take some pictures. That’d set me up to build the trex cover and start buying fence parts Easter weekend.
Lost and forgotten amongst all the before and afters I posted in October and November was the upstairs hallway. I will try and follow up this post with some pictures and info…