DIY Sarah

Craft, Decor, Art, Garden, and Dessert

Weekend Update – Sept 8 & 9 – Concrete Pad and Cleaning Up

It was a beautiful weekend.  Saturday was clear but humid ending with a bout of rain.  Sunday was cool and refreshing.  It was just the kind of weather where you just want to cuddle with a kitty and I had just the kitty for cuddling.

To start out the weekend, I attended a wonderful craft night with a couple friends.  We are at various stages of mastering the art of our crochet.

Emily is the seasoned expert.  Meredith is the explorer never satisfied with one stitch or one project.  Karen is the enterprising beginner whose scarf managed to turn from “what is that?!” to the beginnings of a cuddly scarf.  I guess that leaves me, triple crocheting a huge afghan and loving the repetition and lack of thought it requires.

Emily is working on a cute little koala.  I love koalaa.  I hope she finishes it.  I’m sure it will be adorable.

I’ve been working on an afghan since last November.  When I was planning the wedding, I couldn’t keep my hands still and this was my way of relaxing.  I’m even busier now but I’ve learned to cherish the time I get to just sit and do nothing so I haven’t worked on it as much lately.  Perhaps this winter when I need a blanket to cuddle up with I’ll be more motivated. I’ll share the final product when it is complete!

Saturday morning was the start of Operation Concrete Pour.  I’m afraid I was a bad blogger and didn’t take any pictures of the process.  I was too busy moving 2 TONS of concrete around.  We rented a concrete buggy

Here is a nice diagram from a concrete place in California. Notice the man is standing around and the woman is raking concrete around. Yep, that was me. Though Stefan wasn’t just hanging out, he was inside the trailer pushing the concrete out the drain of the trailer. Keep in mind, it was a warm day though not the warmest we’ve had. It’s about a 20 min drive from the concrete place to our house and the concrete sets in about an hour. Not only are we working hard, we’ve got a time crunch. Another problem to note with this diagram, they are standing in the wet concrete. It wouldn’t be so bad if you could do that! It’s the stretching as far as possible so you can get to the pile of wet concrete that makes is back-breaking labor. We had to get the trailer back by noon so by 11:30, Stefan was driving back to Woburn Concrete to return the trailer. I, on the other hand, was tasked with smoothing the concrete. We were going for a brush finish which is the textured finish they use on sidewalks. It’s easier to do than the super smooth finish. To even out the concrete, I used a piece of wood, an old sponge mop, and the back of a square edge shovel. To finish it off, I used a broom to give it a nice texture.

About an hour later and voila:

After lunch, we realized we should have done some concrete decorating. So we added some personality to the slab. Can you tell which part I did?

Lessons learned about pouring and working with concrete:

  • Borrow a big truck
  • Backing up with a trailer is hard, work out your directing signals ahead of time
  • Don’t be afraid to add a little water to make it behave. The pros may scoff but a slightly less structural pad that’s on the pad is much better than a pad still in the concrete trailer
  • A yard of concrete is just on the high end of what you want to move yourself. Any more and you should have the big truck deliver.
  • Getting a smooth, flat finish is hard. For the shed it’s no big deal but for a garage, I think I’d hire it out.
  • Don’t even thing about this project without two strong people, a pitchfork, a square-edge shovel, and a bow rake.
  • Make your handprints/declarations of love/date marks/etc. while the concrete is still wet.  If it’s only semi-wet, use little dots to make letters instead of pulling lines through the concrete

 

After that ordeal, we slept.  No really, we took about a 2 hour nap on Saturday.  It was glorious.  It was after the nap that we decided it was time to do laundry.  Enter adventure number 2 of the weekend.  The dryer went out on us!  The clothes weren’t drying and I had 2 full loads of wet laundry and it’s pouring outside.  So, we covered the kitchen in clothes and Stefan went to work fixing the dryer.

After taking it apart and trying to determing if the blower fan was broken or what, he came across a clump…a clump of lint…a clump of lint the size of a basketball.  Turns out the previous owners weren’t so good at cleaning the lint trap.  Honestly, I’ve never been so happy to see a lint ball in my life.  We cleaned that sucker out, put the dryer back together, and voila: dryer like new!  Sunday I did 8 loads of laundry.  All the sheets, blankets, all the stuff from the apartment that our subletters used.  SO MUCH LAUNDRY!  I must say, it was an amazingly satisfying day.

In between loads of laundry, Stefan convinced me we absolutely had to clean the bedroom. I was unconvinced.  He said I’d feel better.  Man was he right!

It doesn’t look amazing or well decorated but it’s clean and functional. We actually assembled the bed which had been propped against the wall for oh, 6 months.  We put all the clothes away, hung up every shirt draped over anything in the room, vacuumed(!)  and  even put the new comforter on the bed.  I haven’t slept so well in well 6 months!  I get clostophobic from time to time and it had been happening to me more often recently.  Stefan took it upon himself to force us to clean up the bedroom for my sanity.  I couldn’t be more thankful that he did.  I have a better outlook on life just knowing the bedroom floor is picked up.  I may just turn into a neat freak if this keeps up!

The weekend can’t be all fun and games and cleaning.  We also did some work (hah!).  We finished sistering beams in the bathroom floor.  Now we are ready to start drilling holes for the various wires.  We also need to button up some plumbing and do a bit of floor-leveling in the 1/2 bath.  It looks good and I’m excited to start checking things off the “Before the Bathroom Floor Goes Down” list.

Vector was once again a good helper for his daddy.

We’ve got a busy few weeks coming up but I’m hoping to have the bathroom floors down by the end of October.  That gives us 7 weekends less 2 busy weekend.  5 working weekends to get that floor down.  I think that’s do-able.  That will give us 5 more working weekends to get things buttoned up for drywall.  That even leaves 3 weeks in December to try to schedule blow-in insulation!

Have a good week!

Sarah