Reub's journey

14 May 2013

Men at work


A house project is like a disease that begins with a little cough but then develops into a one-thing-after-another scenario. The deck slowly rotting off of the back side of the house was like a symptom that we chose to ignore until it got bad enough to demand unequivocal attention and treatment.


So there is major demolition/construction happening now, and it isn't limited to the deck. The coming weeks will involve a new roof, a new door, a replaced concrete slab, and a remodeled bathroom.




Nobody is more fascinated by the activity than Stitch, who is observing the noisy drilling and sawing from approximately 6 inches away, separated by a pane of glass. That's Harlan, a construction guy, on the other side.



Rumbling equipment, strange big men, and trucks beeping in reverse are Reub's worst nightmare, but he's learning to cope. (Thank you, Prozac-for-dogs!) Eddy takes it all in stride. Here he looks down on the busy scene from yesterday: the pouring, tinting and texturing of a new concrete slab.



Two cement trucks, like giant mating dragonflies, blocked the road in front of the house yesterday AM.



They ran a big fat hose to the back of the house.


The concrete gushed out, the guys put cool boots on, and smoothed it all out. I was jealous because it looked like fun. Hard to see, but the concrete has a faint green tint.




And now bright blue, because of light reflecting off of a tarp overhead.



Rain mustn't fall on the new concrete as they sprinkle grey-green powder over the top: magic dust, that will add a stone-like quality to the surface. After every dusting they move the red textured mat, and do a jig on it to imprint texture.



"More like clogging than jigging," the dancing workman explained carefully. 
Pretty neat. In a day or two the dust will be washed off and the final surface will be revealed.


21 comments:

  1. Every project turns into something much bigger than expected. Ohh ... yeah. And: congratulations!

    Lovely pictures

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    1. I have yet to learn this lesson: never underestimate anything.

      But it is kind of exciting & who knew photographing the concrete would be so much fun?

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  2. pretty cool stuff happening there!

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    1. Yeah, I look forward to seeing the surface when they blow off all of the magic dust. And there is still the deck, the roof, & the bathroom to go.

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  3. One must smile at the insouciance of the feline.

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    1. Extreme indifference + extreme curiosity is a paradox that I haven't quite figured out. But Stitch possesses both. He is, at the very least, providing as much entertainment to the construction guys as they are providing for him. Harlan said he's never drilled that close to a cat's behind in his life.

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  4. I have uncles who were masters at laying concrete and when I was younger I loved watching them mix and pour and smooth the stuff.

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    1. I never realized how fascinating concrete is. Until yesterday. It's crazy.

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  5. Yes, one update makes other things look old or reveals damage and then the next project is a must do. It is stressful, expensive, but also fun to see something new. I am amazed that you are taking such care with concrete!

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    1. Trying not to be stressed by this, and succeeding. Really, who cares what the finish on the door knob is? Are you seriously asking me this question? Ok, fine.I like that one.

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  6. I love the pic of Stitch!

    And I also love the reflected blue. Very uplifting to the spirit despite the medium. :)

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    1. Stitch kinda lives on his own planet.

      Concrete is far far cooler than I realized. I was amazed at the pics my little pocket-held camera took, like it was trying to tell me this: connncreeeete isssssss awesssssomme.

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  7. Just went through a major sewer line re-do. Still dealing with the aftermath, trenches in concrete. An opportunity to get rid of all the old used blasting medium, topping with brick pavers until we can deal with it properly with new concrete.

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    1. I am now an official concrete devotee. If you google-image 'concrete stamps' you'll see what I mean.

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  8. I'm in the middle of renovations which lead to more of the same so I understand and commiserate. That's a very bright blue reflection.. it almost looks like a pool. Looking forward to seeing the finished product.. even though you didn't share a video of their little jig. ;)

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    1. I promise that I did nothing to saturate the blue in those photos. It was simply the reflected light. I am also looking forward to the finished product. And I really really wish I'd thought of taking a little video!! But they were already slightly self-conscious of all the photos.

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  9. Sounds like some pretty big plans underway. Hope it all goes smoothly and within budget. :)

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    1. For us these are big plans. For the builder it is a small job, but since the housing market is still down here it's better than nothing.

      Budgets for remodeling jobs are shockingly easy to over-shoot. Man, we have to stay within bounds here.

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  10. I have watched my husband get many a pour ready with the frame building and then standing in the muck as it is poured from the delivery truck and he and his workers smooth and spread it as it pours. It looks very difficult and very painful.

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    1. The thing is, they had such great boots. I know that's not a good reason to be jealous. I bet it's really hard slogging through that stuff as it hardens, and do it day after day. No forget it, I'm not really very jealous. At least nobody had to cart it around in wheelbarrows.

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