Thursday, May 2, 2013

Driveway Wars - Almost Over

The war isn't quite over but despite all the pitfalls that fate could throw against us, we've won every battle and have every reason to believe that we will emerge the victors in our driveway war.  We started the day this morning so busy and so focused that I forgot to take pictures so I'll give a brief description.  The stoop at the east end of the house was damaged and had pulled away from the house so it had to come out.  Unfortunately it was at least a foot thick but out it came.   I'd never want to be the opponent of Duke and Dave when they decide to launch a battle against something or someone.  But the one thing that seemed might get the best of them was the root system tightly entangled under the old sidewalk.  If you have a sugar maple tree, you have some idea of how invasive their root system can be but our sugar maple seemed to be the super sugar maple of them all.  What a mess and what a battle to extricate those roots!  This involved a trip to Menards to buy a pickax.  In the meantime, we were busy taking bricks from the back of the house which we'd stored there - thinking we'd use them someday - to the pile of concrete at the street.   This involved a trip to Menards to buy a wheelbarrow since my planters wagon wheel crumpled under the incredible weight of the bricks.  Finally we had to retrieve a lot of dirt we'd previously deposited on the discard pile so that we could fill in the empty areas outside the forms.

We took a quick break for lunch and finally, shortly after, we remembered the camera.  Here I am running the compactor.  Two of my co-workers insisted on including this picture not because my running the compactor was so unusual but because I'm usually the one taking the pictures so it's hard to remember that I'm working as hard as everyone else.  Thanks, Harry and Dave!

Duke and Dave were hurrying to get the rest of the forms set.
And our helper, Nicholas, and Harry and I started adding the base stone to both sidewalks and compacting like crazy!

We felt we were making real progress but it hardly compared to the relief we felt when the Refuse Department showed up to pick up that mountain of concrete.

And once they arrived the real push began to remove the bricks from the front of the house which was necessary so that we could add our new siding - part of Phase 2 of Reno Week at the Hibners.

Here you can see many of the limestone bricks that we managed to include in that removal.  Unfortunately it wasn't half the amount that we still needed to take off.
Then, since everything happens in bunches, the concrete trucks arrived!  This was so exciting and my anticipation was palpable.  I knew that once the concrete was poured, we were home free and could relax a little bit.
Here are Duke and his brother, Ken, planning their strategy.
And here the process actually begins.
Man, those guys work hard!
And even though there was a concrete truck in the way, Harry and Nicholas and I continued to remove and haul those limestone bricks.
Dave, Duke and Ken worked to spread the concrete which was very stiff and challenging to work with.

I was impressed by the weight that these concrete trucks must carry.  Just look at all those tires!  And I was even more impressed at how well our prepped driveway held up under all that tonnage.
Dave, Duke and Ken worked feverishly to keep ahead of the pour.

And we even managed to catch a moment of levity between Dave and Duke.  I can't be sure, but I suspect it was a combination of utter exhaustion and a little hysteria since they knew better than I how much work was still ahead of them.
Because once the pouring and spreading was done, there was edging and brushing and other procedures to do which I don't know how to describe.  And remember when I said the concrete was stiff, it turns out that not only was it stiff but weather conditions were causing it to set up incredibly fast which makes everything hard.  Here Ken is operating a power trowel which became necessary because of the fast set up and stiff concrete mixture.

And here, finally, the guys sat down for a few minutes.
And, although it was pretty dark, I took the final picture of the day.  I hope it shows how beautiful the new driveway and sidewalks looked.

But one more note.  It wasn't until about 8:30 or 8:45 that we finally came in to eat.  It didn't take us long but when we went outside, we saw that someone had marched across the new, still not dry driveway and tried to write in it.  Ken immediately set to work to repair the damage but we won't know until morning how permanent it will be.  Ugh!

Oh and tomorrow we have some sealing and cutting(?) to do.  Then the driveway war will be over!

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely incredible pictures! I can't wait to see the finished project! I've heard it looks fantastic!!! Post more pictures!!!


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