Archive | July, 2011

Concrete Day (continued)

31 Jul

We are still recuperating from our big day yesterday. A very early morning, coupled with hard work, high temperatures and not enough to drink have left us a little sore and lazy feeling today. Here’s a few more pictures of the action yesterday…


The day started with our neighbor telling us that some major tree work was going to be happening pretty much right where we were to be working, in fact, over our heads at times. We let the guys pull their truck in through our driveway to get a better angle on the giant tree. We were a little nervous this would screw up our progress, but we worked around each other pretty well and only had to stop a few times to allow some branches to drop safely. The crew was very professional and did a great job of cleaning the mess they created, but the noise did create a bit of a chaotic environment.


When my Dad arrived, we realized one of the holes was about 3 inches out of alignment with the other 3 in its row, so we needed to remove the tube, scrape away some dirt on one side and replace it in the correct position. When we removed the tube, however, we discovered a large (relative to the rest of our frog population) frog had made its way to the bottom of the hole. After a few attempts to retrieve him with sticks and shovels, my Dad practically dove in head first to perform the rescue by hand. Once he rescued the frog, it began hopping right back towards the hole, so my Dad relocated him about 40 feet away. We then continued with the task at hand.


My Dad is all smiles as he arrives with yet another load of concrete. Is that a PINK wheelbarrow? Why, yes, it is. Real men can confidently push around a pink wheelbarrow without fear of anyone questioning their masculinity!


You can see here how the concrete trailer tips back to dump concrete to the back so you can get to it. Don't be fooled though. It's not flowing right out the back. It's a pretty thick mix that requires lots of physical labor to get out. Here, Jimmy chips in for a while and helps Corinne fill a wheelbarrow.


In this picture my Dad pauses for a drink with Jaidyn, Jimmy's daughter, while Jimmy takes over on wheelbarrow duty for a few runs. When more frogs were found in another hole, though, he let my Dad maintain the title of "Official Frog Rescuer"!


Here's another view of the ready mix machine at the masonry yard. This machine mixes the water, sand and cement as needed and transfers it to the concrete trailer by conveyor belt. Very handy for jobs like this where it's a lot for mixing by the bag, but not enough to justify a full truck.

We’d really like to extend a huge thanks to my Dad and Jimmy for helping out, and to my Mom for stopping by with a great home made lunch to refuel us!


Big Concrete Day (updated)

30 Jul

It was a successful concrete day, tiring and sweaty, but we did it, with lots of help from my dad, and a little help from our friend Jimmy. We got up at the crack of dawn and worked our butts off to get done before the concrete yard closed, and earned ourselves a relaxing afternoon to recooperate.
More details to follow but for now here are a few pictures…

The ready mix concrete trailer is loaded at the masonry yard, about 5 minutes from our house.

Corinne and my Dad haul wheelbarrows full of concrete back and forth from the trailer to the tubes. Corinne would shovel the concrete into the wheelbarrow and my dad would bring it over to the hole, where I would shovel it into the tube. It took about 5 wheelbarrow loads to fill one tube so these guys were very busy!

This is the “jig” we constructed on site to help funnel the concrete into the tubes where the beam is already in place.

Concrete in Progress?

30 Jul

Hopefully at this point we are in the process of picking up a big trailer full of concrete and putting it in a bunch of holes. We’ll be sure to take pictures and post an update or two!

Last Minute Tubage

29 Jul

From the recent rain storm last night a few of our sonotubes got a little too wet because I forgot to cover them after I did some work and didn’t realize it was going to rain. One of them had water flowing towards it and filled with about a foot of mud on the bottom, and it looks like the tube collapsed a bit. Another one got a bit too wet and is feeling really mushy so we had to go on a run to replace these two.

It’s a bit stormy right now or we’d be out there getting bitten and digging (in that order). We’re still hoping to do the concrete in the morning, and hoping we can get done on the early side before the sun gets too high in the sky and we start melting!

Beam Prep

28 Jul

No, it’s not an Ivy League boarding school, it’s what I worked on after work today…
Following up on yesterday’s post, the middle header will also need to be directly on the concrete piers. In order to set the height I decided again to put the header in its eventual position in order to be able to properly locate the anchors in the concrete.
I moved the two existing joists we had put up to get the level of the deck…

away from the holes a bit and then created vertical “legs” to support the header out of 2x4s.

Now we can move the two halves of the beams together, level them, and then join them to make one very big, very heavy, 30 foot long beam.

Getting Ready for Cement

27 Jul

What little work we accomplished this weekend was all with the goal of hopefully pouring the cement for the footings this coming weekend. A few of the footings will need to be set to meet the bottom of the headers directly because they are too low to accommodate a post, so they will sit directly on anchors on the piers.
This required us to set the headers, which are made up of two 2x12s screwed together, in the position they will permanently be mounted.

This header, the one closest to the house, is also the shortest, and will sit on two piers and the end that touches the house is mounted on a Simpson double joist hanger that is nailed to a pressure treated 2×8 that is secured to the foundation with Tapcon screws.
The bracket is shown temporarily attached with drywall screws in the picture.


Inspiration Trip

26 Jul

On our down day Saturday, we decided to take an “inspiration trip” to beat the heat. It turns out it was about 10-15 degrees cooler on the South fork out in the Hamptons. We went to our favorite BBQ place for some ribs, pulled pork, sweet tea, corn on the cob, and a little architectural inspiration. We love the look of this place and we are hoping to emulate their gutters if we can.

They’re a lot different from regular aluminum seamless gutters and that’s part of their appeal to us. They’ve got a nice rustic charm.
We’ve also culled some ideas for our future bedroom renovation, but that’s for another post. On our way home, we stopped at a farm stand for some nice basil, parsley, and garlic to make homemade pesto!



25 Jul

Sorry to disappoint, cupcake fans. This post actually is not about the world’s first cupcake bakery, Sprinkles, but rather, our new sprinkler!

In the midst of enjoying the daily warmth of the summer sun and lack of rain, I forgot about the need for some sort of water source to keep our half-acre lot looking green and healthy. Until Friday, when standing outside the house baking in the 100+ degree temps, I looked down and realized our lawn was baking too, and it was starting to turn brown!

Before heading home from work a little later in the day, I stopped by our local Ace Hardware and picked up an Ace-branded Impulse Sprinkler. It was only about $20 and did a great job! With several adjustable parts, we were able to control the water stream, targeting the areas we wanted to water, and not water – the driveway, the neighbors, the street…

Note: We are, of course, complying with City of Glen Cove guidelines, watering only on even-numbered days between the hours of 5AM-9AM and 4PM-12AM. 

Callin’ it.

23 Jul

Well, it’s barely 11am and I’m about ready to call it a day. We had high hopes of concrete for today but the weather that is so hot that no one can talk about anything else has taken its toll on our progress to the point where we are not ready and I don’t think we could muster the energy to get it done. Sweat was dripping all over the wood as I was building a double 2×12 beam and my shirt was already soaked. This day is a wash 😦

Chippin’ – Day One

22 Jul


Wonderland Tree Care showed up bright and early this morning to start chipping our massive piles of brush. Unfortunately, the heat took its toll on the machinery and they had to stop after a while, but they’ll be back! They promise!