Look, we did more work on our house!

I may have a “before” picture of this area outside our sliding door, but it would require some digging to find it. When we had to replace the bottom of the wall and the deck I pulled out the brick that used to be here. It was more like brick flakes at that point. For the past year and a half it has languished as a pile of rubble, providing a beautiful tableau outside our living room. Or not. Last week I moved what was left of the old brick and concrete and cleaned things up to start the process of fixing it.
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In that photo above you can see a big puddle of water. One of the problems we were trying to fix was getting that puddle to drain, because it’s probably not healthy to have a big lake that close to the house every time it rains. By time I thought to take that picture, Ken had already used a masonry blade on our circular saw to make a couple of cuts in the concrete to make a channel to drain the lake. My aunt and uncle helped us move a whole pallet’s worth of concrete (our third for this place, if anyone’s counting), so thanks to them for the concrete stacked there.

This is a picture looking from the other direction after the grooves were cut and the drain pipe laid. The fencing was supposed to act like rebar. The flashing with the gravel along the bottom of the door is supposed to keep water out of the crawlspace under the house and keep the wood from rotting again. I may need new shoes, my pink socks are sticking out in more than one place…
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No project would be complete without snaking the water hose through the living room to get it to reach…
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Because I like to provide utterly confusing angles on my photos that are in no way correlated with each other, this is the wet poured concrete as pictured from the sliding door. I basically mixed all that concrete by myself. In a wheelbarrow with a shovel. 14 60# bags. My arms were tired. Ken might have helped a little bit. But really, I did most of the mixing.
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And now in the most un-satisfying ending ever, I don’t have a final finished picture. The concrete cracked a bit (because we had no idea what we were doing), but I think once it cures completely we can fill the crack and seal everything. The good news is that the puddle definitely drains beautifully through the drain pipe. It’s definitely not the most beautiful concrete ever poured, but I think it’s not too bad for a couple of extreme amateurs, and a big improvement over the brick flakes in terms of both waterproofness and aesthetics.

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