The crew from Finishing Touch Concrete was back this week. They did a monumental pour on Monday. As per their habit they arrived at 7:00 AM and were hard at work several hours later when I stumbled downstairs to see what they were up to. In one single day they poured all of the concrete for our house. That includes the stairs to the basement, the wrap around sidewalk from the basement to the front of the house. The landing for the front stairs, the driveway which runs all the way along the house down to the garage, and the curb for the gutter drains. Some of the crew were still here and working at 7:30 PM when I had to leave for a rehearsal. That is one long day of back breaking work. At the very end of the day a young man walked by and inadvertently left a foot print in the newly finished driveway. Not a happy situation. Everyone was suspect. All of us had to show the bottom of our shoes to see if they matched up with the print. Luckily one of the workers saw the kid, so we were off the hook. The crew is mostly Hispanic, which makes a lot of sense to me. These were the same people who built the pyramids in central America. It is a skill passed down from one craftsman to another. I'm SO thankful there are people out there who will do concrete work because I dislike doing it myself. For one thing the mistakes you make are, well, cast in concrete. They are permanent, they don't go away.
For another I have no idea what I'm doing, and lack the right tools for the job. (Although I'm pretty sure it wouldn't make any difference anyway.) The coolest tool of the day was a magnesium float that has a 15 foot handle on it. They can rotate the handle to make the pressure come off of the float, or apply more pressure. It was so fun to watch them use it. You can see in the picture how long our driveway looks now. It's still the same size as it was, but it looks like you could land a 747 on the thing.
The Thursday before the big pour the contractor had removed all of the concrete in preparation for the big pour. We had no driveway, no sidewalk, and temporary stairs. Then the really big pour began--the rainy one. It was impossible to get into or out of our house without being covered in mud. Robin and I were on our way out to a worship service, so I grabbed some cardboard, laid it out on the ground, and took along an extra pair of shoes to change into once I got to the church. I was relating the story the next day to the contractor, and he said, "That is the last day you'll ever have to walk through the mud to get into this house." Very nice words to hear.
The really scary part of this whole process is that the contractors are almost all done with their work, and there is still a lot of work to do. Robin has commented a number of times on how she really likes having contractors who show up, work all day and get a lot of work done. As opposed to her spouse who works for five minutes, runs to Lowe's and then works another five minutes. I never should have let her experience real contractors who know what they are doing. Up until now I've gotten her conditioned to remodeling projects that go on forever. Unfortunately, this one will go on for a while on our end. Cellar Ridge is almost all done, but this job is far from finished. So I'm going to walk down my beautiful new stairs and do some wiring in my new basement.