Front Steps ~ Part 2

In the previous post we had completed two of the front steps and were preparing for the third. Moving downward in our construction process, here is the third step finished:


You can see that we have a row of blocks for the fourth step ready and waiting.

Moving downward again, the next photo is of the fourth step. At this point the job is getting tedious, but we are urged onward by how good it is looking.


So far the steps have been two-feet front-to-back, but the fifth step is now down at driveway level where you can comfortably step onto this step from the driveway. The two-feet seemed narrow and confining so I decided to make the step three-feet front-to-back:


To the left of the bottom step you can see an area delineated by concrete blocks. We’ll pour a slab there, but we need to find some fill dirt to level the area first.

Here is the staircase viewed from the landing at the second bedroom door:


After all the construction, the area was a mess. Armando and I spent the morning moving all the junk. We moved a hundred concrete blocks to the other side of the house. We spent an hour pulling weeds that had taken over the driveway. We also spread a small pile of gravel in the driveway and received another eight (of twelve) yards of sand and gravel that we will use to make concrete for the big floor; the sand and gravel from the river wouldn’t normally be available, but we were visited by a big rainstorm from the Caribbean so the rivers brought new material downstream. In the foreground you can see the hangers I fashioned from rebar to support the ends of the beams; there are more substantial support columns just a few feet away.

Here’s a picture of the steps from the front gate:


After lunch, Armando moved to the other side of the big floor to continue digging a trench for the west wall. We’ll pour a footing and lay two or three rows of concrete blocks to support this end of the floor. By the way, our neighbor finally cut the big tree trunk into pieces. I gave the wood to Armando because his family cooks with a wood fire. During the rainy season, his wife hangs the laundry to dry by the stove in the kitchen, and he frequently comes to work smelling like a campfire:


I’ll trim the beam that is too long and weld it onto the beam that is too short. These beams are 40-feet long.

While Armando dug, I fired up the welder and spent two hours welding cariolas to the last beam and installing a couple more carriolas. The floor is nearly ready for the zinc panels that will support the concrete floor!


After the zinc panels are on the floor, the next task is to make the big roof. Now THAT will be exciting! We won’t pour the concrete floor until the roof is up for cover from rain. It will also give us shade from the hot sun.

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.

6 thoughts on “Front Steps ~ Part 2

  1. Excellent work! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your sharing this. It’s so very helpful for those of us who aim to create our own homes from discarded shipping containers. It’s inspiring!

    • Hi Steve,

      Thank you and you are welcome. I’m having a ball creating our new house. But remember, just because I did something a particular way doesn’t make it right! You are welcome to any of my ideas, but be sure to think things through for yourself. I’m inventing this as I go along! Fred

  2. I love the frame of your soon-to-be completed project, labor of love. The greenery visible in the back, beautiful.
    Campfire smell on your clothes, yeah, my grandma’s drying technique.
    One day, maybe one day…

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