The day after my last post about tiling the walkway, we tiled the bottom step to the carport floor and installed a few missing tiles here and there. I thought that that would be the end of our supply of tiles, as I had estimated the job with a very sharp pencil.
But we did have nine tiles left over, just enough to tile the ramp to the back yard with only the tiniest bit of scrap left over:
To fill out the day, we moved operations to the electric meter wall at the corner of the property. Armando and I had tiled it a couple of years ago, but the stucco at the top of the roof line was too smooth to bond the tiles to. One-by-one and over time, the tiles loosened and fell to the ground. Francisco roughed the stucco with a hammer and chisel, then Anibal painted on a bonding agent, and we cut and fit the tiles. Here is a photo that Cynthia took of the crew:
At the end of the day our tile crew was all caught up until time to tile the carport floor, and I was about to dismiss Anibal and Francisco for lack of work. But I really didn’t want to lose them as it may be some time before I could get them back.
Anibal and I got to talking; he still had no other work on the horizon, so we decided to start the carport floor the next day. I had previously purchased the rebar for the floor, but we still needed sand, gravel and cement.
There still isn’t a lot of mixed sand and gravel deposited on the river banks, but Ramiro’s brother, who lives next to a river, had the ten-yards that we would need. He promised it for the next day. Then I went to town and ordered 30, 94-pound sacks of cement that were delivered the next day.
The next day, Armando, Anibal, Francisco, and I prepared the carport area for the pour. We have used this area to mix concrete on for five-years. Some areas were quite thick with remnant concrete and mortar, and to level the floor it was tough work with pick-axe, sledge-hammer, and shovel. We used a string to determine the level of the floor and picked away at the high spots and filled the low spots with the chipped-out debris. This took most of the morning. Here are some photos:
We dug a trench along the front edge of the slab to allow for more concrete here — I don’t want the slab to crack the first time I drive over the edge! In the next photo I am driving rebar into the ground, making support for a 2″x4″ metal cariola form for the concrete:
When we had the earth scraping and filling done to allow a five-inch concrete slab, we moved on to the rebar. Here Armando cuts some rebar with the angle grinder:
We measured for the cross-pieces of rebar:
Then we cut all of the cross pieces:
Now with the grid of 1/2″ rebar, spaced at 16″-on-center, we tied the rebar intersections with wire. Cynthia got in on the action, too, cutting and bending the 300-plus tie wires:
Here the guys wire the rebar together:
After the rebar was in place, we drove some long pins of rebar into the ground, then I welded angle iron to the pins. Using a string from front-to-back of the carport, we adjusted the angle iron (by hammering on the pins) to set the top of the slab:
You can see the angle iron — one at either edge and one running down the middle of the carport. We’ll use the ten-foot length of aluminum tubing to strike the concrete level.
Now we are ready for concrete.
The sand and gravel mix didn’t arrive in the afternoon as promised, but I was told that it would arrive early in the morning tomorrow. Tomorrow arrived, along with the men at 7:00 a.m., but still no material, so Ramiro called his brother. It seems that the two-block-long road down to the river was too washed out and the truck couldn’t use it. So, the delay was caused — if you can understand how much work this must have been — by the three men having to physically wheel-barrow all ten-yards uphill on the deeply-rutted two-block “road” to the truck. Uugh!
The truck arrived with the first four-yards at 8:30 and we got right to work. Spreading out the entire four-yards, the men then added the cement,:
then they mixed and added water:
They make little troughs throughout the pile to contain the water. Anibal, the oldest on the crew, was assigned hose duty.
After the pile was mixed, Armando grabbed the wheelbarrow and kept at it all day long:
Anibal and I placed the concrete and struck it off using the angle iron guides:
We caught little breaks when we could:
We ran out of concrete when we were almost done with half the floor, and had to wait an hour-or-so for the second four-yards to arrive. Here is the floor half-done and starting on the second half:
With just a bit left to do on the floor, we waited again for the arrival of two-more yards of sand and gravel. This was a lot of mixing in one day for our small crew:
The next photo shows the slab ALL DONE! Also, note that the driveway is a mess of sand and cement (this stretches all the way to the front gate), making it difficult to walk into the house without bringing in a bunch of junk on your feet:
So I sent a WhatsApp message to Jesus (man with truck) and ordered four-yards of gravel for the driveway. Yesterday, Armando and I spread the pile. We’ll still need at least another load, but I’ll wait until we are all done with the sand pile Here’s a panorama with the driveway almost all graveled:
So having the floor slab done was a big surprise for us, we thought it would happen in June or July. But here it is at the tail end of May and it is in and done. Now just to tile it…
That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.