Walkway Roof, Rain Gutter, Front Walkway Floor

Before we could pour the front walkway floor, I had to complete the small section of roof over the walkway. With the roof done, if it rained while we were pouring the floor, we would be covered. The geometry of this small roof section follows the walkway floor below:


Here I am grinding a weld smooth.

Here is the roof section with the zinc panels installed and the support column cut off at the roofline:


Now we can pour the walkway. Oops, wait a minute. Any water that runs off the new roof section will spill onto the carport roof. And because there is no gutter on the carport roof, the water will drip onto the fresh concrete below. I gotta go get a gutter and install it. Common practice here is to use a four-inch PVC thin-walled tubing as a gutter. You snap a chalkline the length of the pipe, then cut along the line with a saw. I found that the saber saw made quick work of the cut, although most installers will just use a handsaw. Here neighbor Tomas came to my rescue, helping me spread the pipe and set it over the end of the roofing panels:


Here is the gutter all installed. I still have to deal with the lower end of the downspout to make it plumb on the wall:


Armando and I spent the good part of a day setting rebar and forms and then… Finally, finally I say again, we are ready to pour the top step/front walkway to the front door. Armando and I and two extra men, Elia and Manuelilto, repeated the 5:45 a.m. start to make the pour. I won’t show you again how they filled the wheelbarrows. Suffice it to say that today we used a mere 24 wheelbarrows of sand and gravel and a dozen sacks of cement:


Elia smooths out a hump of concrete, and it looks like I am about to step off into the abyss.


Elia wood floats a section while Armando and I strike the concrete level. Actually, the walkway isn’t level, but slants a bit toward the front of the step to allow rainwater to run off.

Armando does The Swim.

Armando does The Swim.

Jabo is very confused. This new concrete changes all his usual “crossings.” But he doesn’t try to carve his initials into the wet concrete. Not even once. Good dog, Jabo.


At the end of the day, Cynthia and I stepped back and reveled in the fact that we can now drive into the carport, unload groceries or whatever, and walk to the front door and into the house, all under cover and out of the rain. Today was truly a red letter day!

I also spent a day cutting and installing flat stock to the outside of the clerestory windows. I applied a good coat of primer to all the window metal so now I am ready to install those four windows. When I get the time.

That’s all for now. I haven’t decided what’s next…

13 thoughts on “Walkway Roof, Rain Gutter, Front Walkway Floor

    • Thank you. I’m really happy that the walkway under the carport roof is EXACTLY at the same level as the Big Floor. It couldn’t have turned out better if I do say so myself. So many Panamanian floors have a little half-inch-or-so step where one section of a house meets another. Throws my back out every time I trip over one of these mini-non-steps.

  1. Great job, Fred! It’s really coming along well. Hope you don’t mind if I use your idea of the pvc pipe for a gutter. Just built a 20′ x 40′ metal carport over my rv trailer and was trying to decide how to install a gutter on the lower side to direct the run-off. This is a fantastic idea. Keep up the good work and be careful. I found out this past week that when you get really tired is when you are likely to make a mis-step, either mentally or physically. We don’t need that. Looking forward to the next post.

    • Hi Don, Thanks! Sure, the pvc pipe is not my original idea either. One tip: if you are going to use more than one length, and have a few extra hands to help you with a long length, glue them together first, then cut the long cut. It makes gluing the joint much easier. I did it the other way around and now that it has rained, I see a leak at the joint. Thanks again for your comment, I’ll be careful, you do the same! Fred

  2. Hello form the Philippines. I am a Canadian living in Davao City and i have enjoyed watching the progress on your project and will be starting my own ‘shipping container house’ hopefully before the end of the year and will incorporate a lot of what i learned of your site. So,i really appreciate you taking the time to post your progress on here as it will save me from making a lot of mistakes.
    You have a smart dog there,most would love to leave their signature paw print on fresh concrete.
    Most importantly, it is a big help to have a patient wife when doing projects like this so a big hats off to your wife Cynthia,I’m sure she will enjoy the finished piece of livable artwork.
    All the best to you and yours

    Frank & Sherry
    Davao City,Philippines

    • Hi Frank and Sherry, I’m happy that you have enjoyed my bone-crushing, back-breaking process, and I hope that my experience will save you some effort, time, and expense. If you want a fast and relatively inexpensive build, dispense with the areas built between containers. The extra spaces that I have built have really added to the time/expense categories. Not that I would have done anything differently… as you said, this has been my big-canvas art project. I guess that I am one of those “creative types” that like to push the (building) envelope.

      I stripped the forms off of the front walkway today and cleaned up the mess. Cynthia and I are delighted with the geometry and how easy it is to navigate into and out of the house. We love it and just sat there for an hour taking it all in.

      So feel free to use any of my ideas. Just remember… I’m making this up as I go along. No guarantees! Regards, Fred

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