Step By Step We Are Getting There ~ Front Entrance Steps

When last I wrote, Hanibal, Francisco, and I had the top landing done and were working on the first step down on the steps to the front door. We’ve made great advances this past week, but step by step, about one a day, it is rewarding and tedious. Here are some progress photos:

P1020022-001

This work is a bustle of activity. While Francisco keeps us supplied with tile and mortar, Hanibal sets full tiles plus the ones that I cut and pass off to him.

P1020019-001

When Francisco gets caught up with Hanibal, he spreads grout. Cynthia took this picture from the loft front window.

P1020027

For this space, I need to cut four small tile pieces.

P1020031-001

The new tile saw isn’t so new any more. It is getting quite a workout.

P1020033-001

A good picture of Francisco cleaning the grout line.

I have already shown you the jig that I made to keep the height and slant-to-drain of each step the same. I made another jig to keep the slant of the front of each riser the same. Here Hanibal uses the jig to strike a uniform mortar face on the riser:

P1020034-001

Here is a closeup of the jig:

P1020034-003

I made a small notch at the point where the jig touches the front edge of the dark-gray tile strip. This notch allows the jig to indent the mortar face, thereby allowing enough room for a layer of thinset mortar when Hanibal installs the riser tile.

From the roof deck:

P1020037-001

Tarps are at the ready, but so far it seems that the dry season started right on schedule a few days ago.

Another day, another step:

P1020040-001

Shadows are strong before 7:00 a.m. Hanibal is setting the riser tiles on this step.

And another:

P1020042-001

As they do in the big Hollywood movies, I hosed it down…

And yet another:

P1020045-001

Here we have the first row of tiles set on the bottom step. We’ll pick up here on Monday.

Remember, before we can lay the tiles, each step needs a leveling bed of mortar plus the surface of the riser needs to be mortared. This is a labor-intensive project on our hands and knees. After the large tiles are laid, we set the dark-gray tile strips on the edge of the step. I think that the next photo was taken at day eight of the job.

On Monday, we should finish the bottom step and move down to the triangular landing:

P1020046-001

In those times when I manage to catch up to Hanibal, I sneak away to prepare the master bathroom for the glass block window install; it will be our next project after the front steps are complete.

The plan is to make a black concrete bench (like the kitchen counters and the bench in the living room) in the shower, then start the first row of glass blocks on top of the bench.

Using scrap plywood from the kitchen counter top form work, I have the form well under way. I scribed the contour of the container wall onto the plywood, then used the saber saw to cut the wavy line. I drilled holes in the wall of the container, then had Hanibal and Francisco hold the form while I went outside and screwed through the holes to hold the form in place:

 

P1020052-001

I’ll cut out the red wall area when we are ready to pour the bench and lay the glass blocks. The burn marks at the top of the wall are from welding the roof overhang brackets into place.

Outside, at a point an inch lower than the inside form, I made and attached another piece of plywood that will form the concrete window sill. I am hoping that the forms will keep the container wall from contorting out of shape when I cut and remove the metal:

P1020055-001

You can see the form board screwed to the wall where the glass block window will go.

One afternoon I had a little extra energy so I installed the master bath shower valve:

P1020047-001And this morning the Funcionario Público plants along the front fence were in full bloom (named the Government Employee flower because it opens at nine and closes at three). Here is a photo:

P1020054-001

The coconut palms are doing well, too.

That’s all for now, thanks for stopping by.

 

 

7 thoughts on “Step By Step We Are Getting There ~ Front Entrance Steps

  1. Wow, what a difference the tiles made on the entrance of your house! Looks fantastic! Merry Christmas Fred and Cynthia!

    Saludos,
    John, Ximena, Sarah Emily and Emma

      • Fred,

        Since Chile stretches over 4,300 kms (2,670 miles), the climate greatly varies north to south, so I will only speak of Santiago, where we live… Santiago is said to have a Mediterranean climate, as well as similar to that of San Diego, arid in the summer, wetter in the winter… a relatively mild climate, and since we are now in summer, no snow… although, unless you go into the Andes, snow is rare regardless of the season! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *