Garage: Concrete Aprons

This past Saturday, we woke up early to get a jump start on the garage project.

First things first, y’all are probably wondering what’s up with the sinkhole… Well, we filled it back in, but It’s still down there somewhere…. sinking…. I’ll write a little bit more about sinkholes some other day, but for now, just know that we filled it back up and don’t really have much choice but to keep plugging along with the plan.

We ordered 2.25 yards of concrete to be delivered at 8:00 AM. By 6:00 AM, we were outside frantically making last-minute adjustments and making one last trip to the big-box hardware store for some critical supplies to be ready when the concrete truck showed up. Here are a couple pics of the forms and rebar set and ready to go.  It was a bit of a frantic morning, so apologies if these photos give you a bit of vertigo.

Rebar ready to pour.

We used construction adhesive to glue the expansion joint material to the edges of the garage foundation. This was very helpful to know how high on the side of the foundation the concrete should go.

Expansion Joint against slab.

Landing area for door.

Landing forms.

The concrete truck showed up right on time, and the driver was very helpful about maneuvering the truck exactly where we needed the concrete to go so we didn’t have to lug it around in a wheelbarrow. This was especially helpful since we didn’t have a wheelbarrow.

This was my first time pouring concrete, so it was all a learning experience for me. Luckily, my friend Neal had some experience finishing concrete and he was willing to come over and help me out, which was a good thing. I would have been in over my head without him.

Waiting for Concrete.

The concrete came out of the truck pretty quickly, and Neal and Mel tag teamed the screeding process, zig-zagging a 2×4 across the top of the forms to roughly level out the concrete.

Shoveling Concrete.

Meanwhile, I was shoveling concrete and guiding the truck chute around the rest of the forms.

Lumpy Concrete.

My friend Neal worked his magic, and taught me a few things while he was at it, and before long, here was the finished result:

Finished Alley Apron.

We filled in the 2′ strip between the garage and the concrete alley, and poured a little ramp in front of the garage doors.

Finished Driveway Apron and Door Landing.

I’m gonna call this a control joint. It probably has a different name, but when you’re reading my blog, it’s called a control joint.

Textured Finish and Joint Detail.

Since we had extra concrete, we decided to fill all the empty concrete block cores. I’m really glad we did this, as it will make the stem walls about 200% stronger (estimate).

Filled the concrete block cores.

For most of this, we just left KP in her crib, but eventually, she got a little cranky hanging out in her crib alone so we brought her outside and let her suck down a bottle of milk while we kept working. She was such a good little observer, content to just sit in her little plastic chair and watch.

But like a predictable sitcom, while our attention was elsewhere, babyzilla took over and she started stomping around in the wet concrete leaving tiny Chuck Taylor footprints everywhere. We troweled most of them out no problem, but decided to leave one just to hold on to the memory.

KP Footprint and Date.

Next up, we’ll let this dry, remove the forms, patch the asphalt, probably dig a trench for electrical stuff, and order a load of topsoil to work on re-grading the yard.

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