Friday, April 15, 2011

Bring on the Concrete!

Although I've been slacking on writing about REAL projects lately, that doesn't mean we haven't been busy working! I’m sure you’ve all been dying to know what’s happening with our basement hole. (No? Really?) Well, as of this weekend, it will be a hole no more! If all goes as planned, of course…

Here’s a quick refresher of the situation, as well as some new updates on what’s been happening. (I apologize if I'm not very detailed about the process -- it's been a lot of off-and-on work over the past couple months!)

The bathroom drain lines for the shower, sink, and toilet have finally been re-worked from their original – and might I add, nonsensical -- layout to fit our new floor plan configuration. In a nutshell, this involved cutting apart the existing lines with the sawzall, redirecting them to where we wanted, and gluing the new lines together. We were able to save some dough by salvaging some of the old pipe, but we did have to buy a few new fittings too.



In case you can't tell what's going on here, the vent stack/sink drain has moved to the back wall, the shower drain moved a few inches inward, and the toilet stub-up moved a couple feet back toward to the cleanout.

Luke, of course, did most of the figuring and measuring during all this, and I pretty much assisted by handing things to him and holding the pipes when they needed to be cut.

The shower drain took some extra figuring as far as how high up to set it to be flush with the new concrete floor, yet taking into consideration an ever-so-slight slope and the fact that there will be thinset and tile on top of it. We used a paper clip chain as a lightweight plumb bob to determine where the drain should be located (horizontally).

Once all the underground drainwork was complete, there was still more prep work to be done. With a ginormous 13" drill bit, Luke spent several exhausting hours drilling holes in the sides of the existing slab in order to reinforce the new floor with rebar (approximately every two feet). We then filled the entire hole with a couple inches of fine sand.

The rebar was attached into the concrete with Sika Anchoring Adhesive. We had some diffiiculties with the bottle and the caulking gun, so hopefully we got enough adhesive into the holes. It seems pretty sturdy...

NOW…. It’s finally ready for a new floor, which we will be pouring this weekend with the help of my dad who’s coming to visit. It’s going to cost about $270 for 1.5 cubic yards, and by DIY-ing, we should end up saving a few hundred dollars.

And hey, while we have a concrete truck accessible to us, why not pour a new sidewalk too?

Here’s a look behind our gate on the side of our house, which has become a dumping ground for extra bricks, concrete chunks from the basement, dirt, and a few potted daylilies that won’t seem to die I haven’t managed to kill. Overall, a pretty craptastic area, but up until now it hasn’t been our top priority since no one ever really sees it.

So last weekend we cleaned it up a bit and built some formwork with some 2x4’s, a 2x6, and stakes. When it’s finished, we’ll have a nice concrete sidewalk connecting our fabulous brick sidewalk with the back yard. Not only will it look a bazillion times better, but it will also be more convenient for pushing the mower, wheelbarrow, etc.

Having never worked with concrete before (except for our fence posts), I have no idea what to expect this weekend and am a little – okay, a lot – nervous. But as long as Luke and my dad know what’s going on, I’ll be more than happy to do whatever they tell me to do. It should be very interesting, to say the least.

Wish us luck! Oh, and any last-minute pointers on pouring sidewalks and/or a finished concrete floor??


Cindy @The Flipping Couple said...

Ahhh! Good luck!! I hope it goes well. If it doesn't, could you make it sound like it did, anyway? Then I can use your post to convince the hubs we can, indeed, add a shower to our (nasty-crap) basement bathroom. : )

Seriously, though, I really hope it goes well!!

Diamond Drill Bits said...

Your husband is so sweet..I wish good luck for all the work you carry on..

pharmacy said...

Interesting, I had some problems at home with my bathroom drain lines and I had been trying to fix them, it wasn't easy, finally, I did it as well as you did it.

xl pharmacy said...

that is to be a good husband, you are so lucky, it seems it was not an easy job, but he did it so well, congrats!


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