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Garage Day 24-33: A Whole Lotta Concrete

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This was the fourth and final pour for this project, finishing with the last retaining wall and the floating stairs. All said and done, it was approximately 50 yards of concrete, 2500 feet of rebar and 1 MILLION pounds of stress.

West Retaining Wall

First step was to remove the retaining wall forms from the last pour. Unfortunately, what it revealed was that the subcontractor hired to do the finish-quality retaining wall did NOT properly vibrate the concrete as it was poured. This resulted in a pretty inconsistent finish on the side facing passersby, that I was really not pleased with.

3rd pour forms removed!
3rd pour forms removed!

The subcontractor reluctantly came back to do some parging in an attempt to fix it as best he could, followed by another pass by Jason. In the end, the parging yielded good enough results. It was more frustrating to have sunk so much money into the concrete alone, have one chance to do it right and the subcontractor does it wrong without any real recourse. ARG!

But the reality is: it’s just a concrete wall.

Sump under floating stairs
Sump under floating stairs

The sump was also positioned for below the floating stairs. Not entirely sure why they put it as close as they did to the alley side. Seems like that’ll be difficult to remove the sump lid when the time comes. I have a bad feeling that’s gonna bite me in the ass. :(

East Retaining Wall

Not pleased with the results of the west retaining wall, Jason decided against subcontracting and planned to do the remaining retaining wall himself.

Forms for east retaining wall
Forms for east retaining wall

Underneath this shoulder of the yard is the main sewer line from the house. The secondary sewer line from the garage joins up under the footing shown below before it connects to the city sewer.

Sanitary line
Sanitary line

Stairs

In the earlier pour for the west retaining wall, there were two pieces of rebar protruding from where the top of the stairs would be. Those were bent down and used for additional reinforcement for the floating stairs.

Forms for floating stairs
Forms for floating stairs
Freshly poured floating stairs
Freshly poured floating stairs
Ready for final pour
Ready for final pour

Trenching

On the North Shore, I learned that there’s nowhere to rent Ditch Witches, like we had in Saskatoon. And while digging with my shovel as a result, I learned exactly WHY that is. This place has an obscene number of rocks in the ground…something the tool rental places didn’t appreciate when their equipment would be broken on return every time!

In the end, I think I dug a 30″ deep trench about 60′ long for the plumbing line. And then a 24″ deep trench about 25′ long for the electrical line. Sadly, every time I needed to dig, it just happened to be pouring, snowing, or frozen ground!

Anyway, it’s very clear to me now that there was a time that I was in MUCH better shape. I complained a lot. Like…A LOT!

My contribution:  a 60' long, 30" deep trench...only to be filled in just a few days later.
My contribution: a 60′ long, 30″ deep plumbing trench…only to be filled in just a few days later.

Additional Photos

A whole lotta concrete
A whole lotta concrete
Father-Son Duo
Father-Son Duo
Backfilling
Backfilling

Progress Timelapse (Day 24 to 33)

Unfortunately, the camera mount wasn’t in an ideal location for what happened during this stage of the project, but what would a post without a timelapse be?!

If you want to see the timelapse at 1080p (much better), follow these steps:

  1. View directly in YouTube
  2. Click cog button near bottom-right of video window
  3. Select “1080p HD” from the “Quality” list
  4. Click “Large Player” or “Full Screen” button near the bottom-right of the video window
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4 thoughts on “Garage Day 24-33: A Whole Lotta Concrete”

        1. Cool, thanks Gregg. If you’re interested, I updated the picture to include the current url, as the earlier version had the old website. Hope it helps!

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