Friday, October 17, 2008

When They Work Here, They Work Fast.

When the driveway guys arrived yesterday, they didn't waste any time getting down to the work.  This first photo shows them removing the top layer of grass and soil down to about 4ins as that was to be the thickness of the concrete base.

You can see the start of the wooden frame that would limit the boundary of the cement when poured. It would eventually come right down to the roadside and across to that newly dug up part, just to the right of the existing little path (leading to the front door) so as to form a seamless solid area around that side of the house.

This next photo shows the progress only a few minutes later and you can see the depth to which the ground has been dug up, in readiness for the concrete.

Only 2 men were involved at this stage and as the afternoon wore on, one left so it became a one man show. He had to level the ground to provide a smooth base for the concrete which was due to arrive the following morning.

Today in fact. Friday.

Photo 3 shows the driveway when the guy left for the day. The full frame is in place and the dug up ground is level and smooth......well as it slopes down to the road for the rain to pour off, it's as level as it needs to be !

We don't plan on using the driveway for the truck. We want to use it for the golf cart and so that we can sit outside and not be bothered with the ants which are all over the grass here.  Sure they'll still be on the grass belong to the next property but they never stray far from their little 'holes' and so won't venture onto the concrete at all.

Our house is South facing and so the sun curves in an arc right over the driveway all day long. It's a sun trap and we want to make much more use of it for relaxation and that's why this work is being done.

At some point in the future we may have a car port type structure added at the back, just in front of the little shed, and that will provide some nice shade - during the day it's usually too hot to sit outside for more than a few minutes at a time. But from mid afternoon onwards, the house itself provides increasing shade as the sun moves Westwards and so we'll see if this awning will really be needed.

Now we've moved forward to before 9am this morning (Friday) when the concrete pouring truck arrived with 4 men to do the work.

These people do most of the driveway work within the park and so it was an easy decision to pick them. If at any time we have a problem, we know where to find them as they're nearly always here.

They started at the back near the shed and poured on the first 'dollop' of concrete and began smoothing it out. Here you see the goop coming down the shute (poetic eh ?) while 2 of the men are ready with their rakes to smooth it out.

It all progressed very fast as the 'hard' preparation work had been done yesterday. In no time the whole driveway was covered in concrete and we even managed to save a tiny toad which had been cowering in a corner and had been in danger of being buried alive in classic Mafia style. Well I say 'we' but while I was dithering over it and wondering what to do, one of the workmen scooped it up and flung it over to the other side of the house.

I could've sworn I heard a tiny voice shout out "I can see your house from hereeeeee" but I may have been mistaken. In any case, toady turned up a few minutes later trying to get in the front door so obviously it's sub orbital flight hadn't affected it too much. That's one small step.....etc etc.

This penultimate photo shows them working right at the road end of the driveway and you can see how the concrete is coming around to join up with the existing path...and how much concrete was needed to fill to a depth of 4 inches.

Usually they taper the end of a driveway so that it is flush with the road but as we told them we'd not be using it for the truck, they left it raised up so it would be on a level with the end of the little door path. Of course it doesn't mean we CAN'T get the truck up (or any vehicle used by a visitor) onto the driveway, but we just need to remember there will be a slight bump going up there.

This final photo was taken just before they left for the day. The work isn't finished though as once the concrete is dry, they'll be back tomorrow to 'score' it.

If you enlarge it, you may see a line across from the water downpipe - just where the driveway starts to slope downwards to the road. The main guy will be back tomorrow to create a couple more lines across the length of the driveway with his power cutter. You cannot have such a long area of concrete without scoring it in places or else it will crack over time.

Scoring it puts in planned cracks which ensure that unplanned cracks don't appear all over the concrete. It's a shame really as I like the look of this lovely smooth area.

But it has to be done.

I'll post a final photo tomorrow when this scoring has been done and the driveway is complete.

Sorry if these have been a couple of dull posts but seeing this work done was something new to me and I'd like to have a record of it for my purposes if nothing else.

Normal blogging services will be resumed from now on..............


rhymeswithplague said...

Work fascinates me. I can sit and watch it for hours.

Any bloke who uses the word penultimate is okay by me. Of course, since you won't post the final photo until tomorrow, the one you deemed penultimate is really the antepenultimate.

Yours for accuracy in media,

Silverback said...

And there was me thinking it was the penultimate photo within the post.

Silly me.

Jay said...

Stop bickering, you two. You're both right! ;)

Looks as if you'll have a nice tidy area when they're all done. I know about the cracks in the concrete thing. We used to live in a townhouse which was one of a block of seventeen. They were only concrete bricks, but there were still unplanned cracks between every third house because they didn't allow for the heat/cold expansion and contraction of the concrete.

rhymeswithplague said...

When concrete contracts, is it c'ncrete? And, I suppose, cooncreete when it expands.

Daphne said...

I always take photos of changes to our house too because they're always really interesting to look back on - you get so used to seeing something every day and then when it changes it's hard to remember how it looked before. So says your Paris correspondent (showing off. From
Paris. No, I have no shame.)

rhymeswithplague said...

Ian, this comment isn't about this post. It's about something else. The "Leeds time" and "Sebring time" clocks on your blog show a difference of seven hours. Isn't it just five hours difference?

Thoroughly confused,
Bob whose last name rhymes with

Silverback said...

Yes the time difference IS 5 hours and the clocks are right.

You just need to be aware that Leeds is 5 hours AHEAD of Sebring and not the other way round.

Like right now it's 9:22pm (Sat) in Sebring but 2:22am (Sun) in Leeds.

rhymeswithplague said...

So when Kipling said "East is East and West is West" he didn't mean East is always on the right and West is always on the left, except on maps with North at the top. The twain must have met after all and have actually passed one another. Either that, or we're standing at the North Pole looking South.

Thanks for explaining. It always helps to get one's bearings.

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