Phase Two – The Concrete Pad

Our backyard now features a concrete pad that’s big enough to serve as a neighbourhood roller-skating rink.  But it won’t get that chance!

When we last left this project, it was merely a pile of steel in the breezeway.  The next day, Tyler (the concrete guy) and his team made quick work of the job of laying the foundation for the new building.  They began on a drizzly day, digging and generally making a big muddy mess of our backyard and driveway. 

Next, a large amount of gravel had to be laid and levelled with insulation and other reinforcements to prepare it for the in-floor heating.

There was a brief pause for a city inspector to come and give it his approval.  Unlike the runaround the city required to issue a permit for this job, the inspector was on time and gave it a rubber stamp.  Once the radiant heating tubes were in, it was time for the cement mixer to back in and the dudes wheeled in the heavy mix by wheelbarrow after back-breaking wheelbarrow.  It’s no wonder they’re all in their 20’s and in great shape after this kind of work.  Not that I noticed.  Er…

I’ve never seen a concrete pad put in before and this is a biggie.  The guys were able to walk on it pretty quickly.  One of them had a machine that looked like a floor sander that he swept across the top to level it off.   It’s apparently the reaction of the ingredients that causes the mixture to set, not dryness, so keeping the top layer a bit wet is a good thing so it doesn’t dry out too quickly compared to the rest and crack.  Derek had to go out a couple of times on Friday evening…and water his floor.

He’s grinning like a retiree caring for blue-ribbon rutabagas.  So that’s where it stands.  Tyler is due to come over today and make some cuts in the concrete that will keep it from cracking and then the supports for the building can be drilled in.  This project is a testosterone magnet. Several guys have stopped in to see what all of the guy fuss is about and to offer guy suggestions, loan guy drills and scaffolding and to talk about the guy things they’ve done in their backyards.   I suppose it’s the modern equivelant of a barn-raising bee, where the neighbouring farmers would all show up and help make quick work of a big project.  Back in those days, the woman of the house would be baking loaves of bread and putting on a big pot of stew.   I feel it’s my job to bake cookies and stay out of their way!