We concentrated on getting all the underground pipes in down by the Garage doors last Saturday because the Driveway contractor was scheduled to start bright and early Monday morning. The crew chief stopped by on Saturday to see what he was in for, and Dale was able to show him the design. It’s a good thing he stopped in, because he saw pretty quickly that this driveway was going to be a little more complicated than his normal subdivision driveway. Instead of laying it out and pouring the concrete all in one day like they normally do, he decided it was going to take a full day to lay it out, and a second day to pour.
By the time we got there on Monday morning they were well into getting the grades set correctly and laying out the form boards.
The driveway is pretty complicated, so we asked Kristian, our Landscape Architect to put together a dimensioned plan showing all the curve center-points and line lengths. Dale got with David, the crew chief and explained to him how the dimensioned plan was set up and then left it to him to figure out. Later in the day he told us that the plan was a great help and he’s not sure he could have gotten it done without the dimensions. Near the end of the day we returned to check on things and Dale worked with the crew to get the parking area laid out correctly. Everything else was just about perfect.While the driveway crew was busy outside, Andrew and David Shock were busy inside getting the floor in the Kitchen and Pantry finished up, because the cabinets are scheduled to be delivered this week. Once they figured out the quirks of laying the linoleum tiles, it seemed to go pretty quickly and looks great!The tiles are backed with cork and are very comfortable to walk on. They put down cardboard in the main walking areas to protect it from damage as we continue construction. Tuesday morning the driveway crew was ready to go. After a bit of a wait on the concrete to arrive, the truck finally showed up and everybody got down to business. They knew that it was going to be difficult to get the truck all the way to the back so they ordered the first truck with a conveyor. The basic idea is that the concrete dumps out of the back of the truck onto a conveyor belt which runs it out to the end of the boom and into a ‘sock’ that allows it to fall down where it needs to go. Here you can see David wrestling the big blue ‘sock’ and directing the concrete to fall where he wants it. Meanwhile the truck operator stood up near the truck with what looked like an industrial-strength wireless Nintendo controller and directed the operation from anywhere he wanted to go. He could control the boom angle and length and height, and the speed of the conveyor and the amount of concrete coming out – pretty cool.
The crew moved quickly and before long the back section was leveled and smooth. They moved the truck up the hill and continued to pour until they emptied all 7 cubic yards of concrete in the truck. As the truck operator cleaned up and packed to head back to the plant, the crew was hard at work floating and finishing the edges. This guy is using a bull float to smooth out the ridges left by the leveling operation as well as to knock the gravel down into the mix and bring the ‘cream’ to the surface. Two more 9-yard trucks later, the concrete was all poured and it was just a matter of finishing it off and waiting for it to cure. They put a broom finish on it and then came back and grooved in control joints to help to minimize cracking and give the concrete a straight line to crack in. Later that afternoon there were thundershowers all around North Atlanta, but we were spared any rain. They put up ‘caution tape’ around the upper part and we hope to keep all traffic off of it as long as possible while the concrete hardens. Concrete reaches 90 percent of its full strength in 28 days, so nothing heavy until then.A couple of days later it is showing its true color as it dries and hardens. The big hole in the middle is eventually going to have brick pavers – but that’s a job for another day.Right on schedule, Jeff and his crew showed up with the cabinets. Here’s Jeff (on the left) and Andrew moving some into place in the Kitchen.
They delivered them all one day, and were back the next day to install them. The base cabinets are a little greener than these photos look, and we are anxious to see how it all comes together once we get the verde soapstone countertops in place.
We have a ‘farmhouse sink’ that will go under the window – so the cabinet was made to accommodate it. To the right of the sink will be the dishwasher, so Jeff made a panel that will hide it which is leaning up against the back.
By the time Saturday came, it had been a full week, but we had more trenching and piping that had to be installed before that job was done. We got all the pipes in that were under the driveway, but still needed to extend them above and below the driveway to tie into the pipes up in the front and to carry the water down to the ditch.
In addition, we are installing yard drains in the back two planting areas to catch the majority of the water that will come down the driveway and carry it directly to the ditch. Sure wish we had that trencher back – these trenches are deep and the clay is like a rock.We almost finished, still had a few more hours of work to do, but it will have to wait until next week because we were beat. Those 95 degree days really wear you out!