The Back Porch Cement Pour

We started the morning off on a bad note: we had a lot of soil collapse, pushing one of the walls inward. Bob had to remove one of the walls, Liz and I had to dig out a lot of soil, just to get the wall back to where it was originally.

My heart sank on seeing the collapse, but we were able to remove the material in fairly short order. And got our walls back to where they were before.

Liz and Bob, marking a line for the cement.

More measurements.

I was originally going to get plate compactor, to get the gravel tamped down. But on arriving at Home Depot this morning, I realized the size and weight of the thing was too bulk.

With the stairs removed, there was no good way to get this guy down and in/out. After a quick call with Bob this morning, we opted to forgo the compactor and just do things by hand.

Liz and Bob, filling the french well with river rocks. I swear, I kept seeing the ground collapse beneath them, and couldn’t understand how the hole maintained its integrity.

Even seeing this photo now – so much stress.

A layer of Visqueen as a moisture barrier, and some rebar.

Things are starting to shape up.

Tim and Katie showed up to help us, which was a huge, huge deal. We called in a favor after helping with their cement pour a few years ago. And I have to say – I don’t know how we would have done this all without Tim’s help.

As we were all prepping, Tim and Katie hauled a palette and a half of concrete from the front to the back.

Liz and Katie, doing a brief tour of the backyard.

Bob, finalizing the space (and building us a custom chute for the cement).

Liz, showing everyone our process for mixing concrete.

We had to revisit our notes (which I recorded on the Cedar Lake concrete pour). Basically, it goes like this:

1. 3/4 gallon of water in the mixer.
2. A full 80 pound bag of concrete.
3. Another 3/4 gallon of water in the mixer.
4. Another full 80 pound bag of concrete.
5. Add water as needed.
6. Dump
7. Repeat

We’ve done this so much, we have our own custom water container with a line indicating the 3/4 gallon mark.

Liz and Bob, literally in the thick of things, moving around the concrete we’re dumping straight down into the pit.

Katie, on water duty, and overseeing the overall mixture.

Tim and Katie, working the mixer.

View from above.

Liz and Bob, working in the concrete.

After crawling out, Liz had to clean off her shoes a little.

Post pour.

All told, we used about 70 bags (with 13 leftover). Not too far off, on the original calculations.

Tim went above and beyond, offering to help return the extra 13 bags of concrete to Home Depot. While I was helping split bags and keeping the process going, Tim took on the lion’s share of the work.

In just loading up the bags in Bob’s truck, I got wiped out. Having this extra bit of help returning the extra bags was a huge thing, and was incredibly helpful.

At home, as we were waiting for the concrete to dry… we got Jet’s pizza, and shared a lot of our SMWS whisky in a kind of mini-tasting session. We were all exhausted, but a really good bit of food and drink, after a really long day.

We got through all our bags in fairly short order, which was a surprise to me. Despite starting a bit late, we got done in about 3 hours or so.

Digging Under the Back Porch, Part 15
Digging Under the Back Porch, Part 14
Cement Pour in Cedar Lake

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