Friday, August 19, 2011

On The Road Denver Edition: The Anatomy Of A Colorado Concrete Slab

Dateline Denver, Colorado:  August 18, 2011

As those of you who have been Counting Along With this olelongrooffan will remember I am spending some time here in the Mile High City working with some buds, no pun intended, renovating their new to them home.

And if you happened to have read my last blogpost, you will remember this is what the backyard of the Port Royal looked like after someone had stolen that Teva filled dumpster.

Well Counters, yesterday afternoon at about Japanese Dental Appointment, you know tooth-hurty, this bobcat comes rolling around the corner from the alley out back and commenced to tearing that formerly nearly pristine backyard all to h*ll.

As you can see in the previous image the subsurface of that backyard was filled with all sorts of junk, chunks of concrete, asphalt and I don't know what all. But there was no septic tank! Once that skilled skid steer operator had reached clean soil, those no longer needed dump trucks were dispatched elsewhere and the backyard was then set at two distinct levels. One level was recessed for the garage slab and the other was set at nearly the preexisting elevation and set aside for the outdoor living area of the yard.

The operator of that skid steer then attached this device and penetrated the earth around the perimeter of the slab location to loosen the soils so he could then

dig the footer portion of this monolithic slab with the bucket of that Bobcat.  This olelongrooffan has most recently seen this same feat performed with shovels by a crew filled with individuals of the Manuel Labor persuasion.

Once those footers were excavated, the form boards and grade stakes were installed.

Seeing this guy on his hands and knees using a 2 x 4 as a rake to even out this subgrade reminded me of a great story.

Go ahead and refresh that cocktail...I am.... then on with that memory.

And here it is.

Around about eleven or twelve years ago, sh*t, this olelongrooffan is getting old, anyway I was living down in FantasyLand and looking for a new place to hang my hat. That Sunday I was hanging with an old friend and meeting some new friends at their pool in a swanky area of town. Some of my new friends, Terry and Debbie, were getting buzzed as we all were and were bummed out as they had to leave to show "The Little House" to some potential tenants. We started talking about the Miami style bungalow they owned adjacent to their "Big House" and it sounded extremely desirable to me. I mentioned I would be interested in renting it from them and the pool party continued on in full blown mode.

Anyway, I ended up getting that place, cleaned it up, painted it with some design assistance of my at the time girlfriend and it turned out super cool, if I do say so myself. At the time I was working for a pretty high end building contractor and we had a model home on our hands that had been around for a while.  We found a buyer for this multi million dollar home but the buyer wanted a different paver brick driveway installed. My boss balked at the $5,000 cost but finally relented so we could move on from that spider web filled model home.

Those pavers? Well they ended up in the front yard of "The Little House" awaiting installation. Terry finally got around to finding an installation crew comprised of a bunch of Manuel Labor's friends. As they were installing those paver bricks, the lead guy used a machete to sharpen a carpenter's pencil to mark some cuts on those bricks.

Terry looks over at this olelongrooffan and made the comment, "A Mexican Utility Knife." To this day we still call a machete that and we laugh about it every time we see each other.

Well Counters, you have seen, in the above image, a Mexican Yard Rake. And like that utility knife, this olelongrooffan will never look at a four foot long 2 x 4 the same ever again.

Now you know why I mentioned you should refresh your cocktail for that story.

And finally after that diversion it's time to get back to The Anatomy Of A Colorado Concrete Slab.

So the slab area was prepped and the the wire mesh installed in an attempt to prevent future cracking.

The footer preparation is a bit different than this Sunshine State based olelongrooffan is used to but it appears to be effective here in this climate.

So in the meantime, this olelongrooffan had to run an errand and while out and about a 65 Ford F250 stepside was spotted out in the wild. All ya'll can read more about that sighting here.

Shortly after my return to Port Royal, the slab inspector showed up and approved the efforts provided by Manuel Labor and his crew and now it's time to

hang with Carroll Shelby's infamous creation.

The foreman of the concrete finish crew showed up and started watering down the dry soils we have here in the Mile High City as there has been no rain here since the first couple weeks this olelongrooffan arrived.

Got Concrete?

The crew to finish the concrete was running a bit tardy

so the concrete truck drivers started filling those footers with that rapidly hardening, in the truck, mix.

The finish crew finally showed up and got the job done and we now

are ready to get some walls up on that garage and that is an excellent reason for all of us here at the Port Royal to

Celebrate Life.

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