After a grueling ten-day marathon, one of the last big jobs, the steps at the front entry, are DONE! I know I’ve posted a bunch — probably too many — photos of the job, but here are a few more of the steps all done. I think it adds a gracious, welcoming formality to the front of the house:
And here is a photo of the front of the house at dusk:
Our next task is to pour a black concrete bench in the master bathroom shower area and then to lay glass blocks above the bench. We’ve made good progress in just two days. The bench is poured and five of the eight rows of glass blocks are laid.
Using a combination of the big angle grinder and the reciprocating saw, I started cutting the hole for the glass blocks:
Here is my progress from inside the house:
For nighttime security reasons, I only cut a small part of the opening the first day. I welded rebar in place for the concrete pour:
And finished building the form work:
Next, Hanibal, Francisco, and I poured the tinted-concrete bench. We mixed the concrete very dry so that the colorant wouldn’t wash out as water raised to the surface of the concrete. Also, a drier concrete mix is stronger than a wet mix when it cures.
Hanibal and I worked the concrete into all the corners and under the rebar. The top of the concrete is pitched in two directions — outside the house it tilts down to form a window sill. Inside the house it tilts to drain shower water off of the bench. To make uniform slants, we used small blocks to set the level of the concrete. You can see two of the blocks between Hanibal’s and my trowels. As we struck a level, we pulled the blocks and reset them as we worked along the bench:
Here I find and remove a block:
Hanibal removes one of the blocks toward the end of the bench:
After a ten-minute wait, we floated and troweled the slab, working extra concrete into the voids left by the really-dry mix:
We closed the window hole with a sheet of plywood and walked away for the day. The next day, we laid five courses of glass blocks:
I’d like to show you the window all done, but there are three more rows to lay. We left it like this over the weekend:
While the guys laid the blocks, I tackled another project. At the end of the last dry season, I sealed the concrete roof with numerous coats of a penetrating polymer sealer. The rain was on us and I didn’t have time to apply the elastomeric top coating, mainly because I wanted to do a test patch over time to assure compatibility of the two products.
Here is the roof before the top coating. Note the small white test patch that has held up well over the rainy season:
With a roller and a paint brush, here is the roof two-and-a-half gallons of top coat later:
I wish that I had more to show you, but that’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.