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Stepping up the pace

August 28, 2006

late-august-updates-013.jpg  Our completion date is now Oct 1 for our house, and we are stepping up the level of activity again, borrowing time from family and friends during the aptly named, upcoming Labor day weekend.  This past weekend, among other activities, we formed and poured some front porch steps.  We tried our hand at coloring concrete, trying to mix a terra cotta color that would match what we had already poured for the front porch.  The challenge is that it is a totally different color while wet than once it dries.  While there is a better way to do this, by building some reverse stair forms, it requires more carpentry skill than I currently have. So like many things, I find my own way.  I chose to build the steps like a wedding cake, casting each successive course on top of the lower, and pinning them together and to the porch with rebar cast in place.  The first course forms were held by stakes, and I found that 3 cinder blocks would hold the forms in place while I poured the second step, since the first step was already cured.  We mixed and poured regular 80 bags of concrete until we were within about 1″ from the top of the forms, then colorized the last 2 batches.  As the colorant is about $5 per bag, and you only need the top layer to have color, this made the most sense to us.  After it is cured, I will stucco the front surfaces of the steps in  the beige “canvas”  color to match the rest of the house.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Elaine permalink
    August 28, 2006 1:46 pm

    Mark, Garry and I have enjoyed reading your blog and keeping up with the house progress. The steps look great! Your writing style is very creative and interesting. We will be talking to Leslie this week about helping out over the upcoming weekend.

  2. August 31, 2006 2:19 am

    Mark…I find it truly amazing that you’re actually building your own house. It’s an awesome accomplishment. I’m from South Buffalo, NY … a small irish town. Most houses are simple & small, many built by the fathers/grandfathers when the town was starting to grow in the 1900s.

    Good luck getting to Oct 1!

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