The Driveway: Part 1

Dec 19

Let’s just go ahead and call this post what it really is = “more than you ever wanted to know about concrete…and even more than you ever wanted to see!”. Because let’s face the truth here, this girl is over the top excited having half of this driveway completed that I took a thousand photos during and after. But if you lived for the last 4 months with this amount of dirt surrounding your home, and suddenly a huge portion was covered with flat, gorgeous, beautiful, smooth, clean, new concrete (take a deep breath, Sam)….you might would be just as excited!

And let’s also be honest, anything home improvement or organization sends this girl into a tizzy.

And oooooh, it’s a tizzy today friends! A tizzy over this amazing new concrete!

Did I already say that? Sorry, too excited.

So, when we last spoke driveway, we had finished the framing and rebar and were getting ready for the concrete pour over the weekend. Mother Nature cooperated and all day Saturday the job was completed. Only half the driveway was completed because we need a way in and out of the house. Remember, there is only one way in and out of this property. So, the remaining half of the driveway (down the tree tunnel and out to the street) will be completed this coming Saturday.

My boys were here bright and early at 6am so we could install the drains / grates outside the garage doors. These will provide drainage to the new french drain system we installed over the summer, before move-in….

 

We were rushing against the clock to get the drains installed because the first concrete truck was due to arrive any moment. And if you know concrete guys, they don’t like to stand around waiting for you. We wrapped up the drains just in time for the first truck to back in…

 

We started at the furthest point back, which is the side path from the backyard to the swing set area…

 

In order to get the concrete back here we used wheelbarrows…

 

Once the path was poured, concrete was added around the drains…

 

Then we started filling in the main area…

Concrete takes precision and patience…and a lot of people that know exactly what their role is. There was the foreman on the job (the guy you see above controlling where the concrete was being poured and he also directed the truck driver when to go further back or forward or to add more concrete flow or less flow).

As soon as it’s poured, there are guys who stand in it (with protective boots) and kick it into the grooves where they want it…

 

There’s guys with shovels moving it around…

There’s guys with a long 2 x 4 smoothing and leveling…

There’s guys with the smoothing tool on a long stick (these are very technical terms, of course)…

 

And that smoothing board on the long stick takes a lot of upper body strength. I know because I tried. You can see my guy here (background, blue shirt) doing the job the correct way…

I just looked like a clown trying this part of the job.

Like glass baby!…

The guys continued smoothing until concrete truck #2 arrived…

Then the flurry of activity starts all over again…

 

 

Concrete truck #3…

Before truck #4 arrived, the guys started adding lines in the concrete…

Having breaks in the concrete keeps it from cracking. If done correctly, your concrete should only crack in these lines / grooves. The guys also started with the more detailed smoothing process, which took many hours…

Then truck #4 pulled in…

Finally, truck #5 arrives…

FIVE trucks of concrete…and we are only 1/2 done with the driveway?

As the 5th truck unloaded, the smoothing and finish work continued…

 

 

Until finally, at 4pm…we were done!…

Done with only half, but done nonetheless!

I now present you with 1/2 of my new front driveway…

 

 

 

As you can imagine, the kids can’t wait to get their bikes onto this new play surface!…

Edging around garage planters…

This driveway is now level with the swing set area…

As the driveway continues to dry and cure, it will lighten up. You can see the darker areas vs the lighter areas as it’s drying…

I went with a color called “silver smoke”, which is a lighter shade of gray.

 

Me = happy girl!

To be continued this Saturday when we finish the remaining stretch of driveway. Are you sick of concrete chatter yet? 😉

Have a great evening!

comments +

  1. Simply LKJ says:

    I am sure you are thrilled. Concrete drive=much less dirt tracked into the house!!! I would be right there with ya girlfriend.

  2. Hahhaa.
    I was honestly entertained. It was like an outdoor home makeover blog edition.
    Keep it coming!
    http://www.styleinterplay.com

    …..

  3. LoriU says:

    PHew…..that is a LOT of concrete! Girl you must have hit the lottery or something to be able to afford all that cement!! At least out here five trucks of concrete would be a years salary!

    • yes, a lot of concrete. we just finished the other half yesterday – total of 8 cement trucks. pretty good deal though price wise…found a great guy to help me do the job for much less. it pays to shop around and get quotes. 🙂

      xoxo,
      sam

  4. Dianne says:

    I am in love with your 1/2 driveway! What a lot of work but it's awesome. I especially like the great layout of the seams – good workmanship. I am building a new house in 2014 and suddenly paying attention to these types of details. I hope we get to see your color choice when it is totally dry, Nice work!

    • thank you! i'm in love with it too! can't wait to walk on it and drive on it and play on it. so hard being patient waiting for that part! 🙂 i will definitely post more pics of the driveway after it's cured 100% so you can see the color. it's lightening up a lot.

      xoxo,
      sam

  5. All I can think about is if the concrete trucks fit under the archway of greenery on the driveway? Did they do any damage???

    • they were very careful not to damage any trees! thank you for your concern!! 🙂 we have trimmed back quite a bit knowing it will grow back even better this spring. the concrete trucks didn't damage anything though, which is great news. i was worried about that happening too!

      xoxo,
      sam

  6. Marci says:

    Do you know the color of your concrete? I love it!

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