The pouring of the concrete wall went a little something like this:
It was 9pm on Friday night, Marc was supposed to head to Home Depot, get the rest of the wood to complete the form work and more bags of concrete. Mixer would be rented first thing in the morning. Marc sits down and finally figures out how many bags of concrete we would need to do this wall. Calculations reveal it would be 80 bags. Um, that's 4 trips to HD because his truck max carrying load is 20 bags. That's a colossal waste of time.
I start freaking because I've hired someone to come help us. They will be arriving at 9am and I don't want there to be nothing meaningful for them to do. I remember that my contractor/neighbor told me that if you need more than a yard of concrete, it makes sense to call in a truck. I start googling ready-mix concrete in our area. By this time it is 11pm on a Friday night. I call a place trying to hear their recorded message to see if they deliver on Saturday. A woman answers. I'm mortified. She sounds sleepy. Apparently they have the office calls forwarded to their cells. Poor woman. Good new is: they do deliver on Saturday!
I get a call at 7:30am on Saturday morning saying they can deliver at 10:30am. This means that Marc has about 3 hours to complete the form work. Marc does not work fast and starts hustling (and he won't admit it, but freaking out.) Other good news: even with the "short load" delivery fee, the ready-mix concrete from a truck is cheaper than buying 80 bags (not even counting renting the mixer.)
10:30 comes and goes. The concrete guy calls and says he will be late. The hired helper is sweating to death helping me dig a trench and haul gravel for the drains. 11:30 comes and goes. No truck. I call. They will be even later. Marc is happy because he now has more time to complete the form work. The truck finally comes at 2:30! I have to call the helper to come back. (I'm sure he hates me.)
Concrete starts flowing! Oh no, the forms start creaking and buckling. Marc is sweating bullets, but thank you renovation gods, the forms hold. And actually, the deformations look pretty cool. The wall was supposed to be a straight U shape 14" wide and 20" tall (good for sitting). Now it has two angles to it and bows out to 18" at the top. I like it.
Here is Marc's original elevation sketch of what he wanted the wall to look like:
and here is the real thing:
|Please excuse my poorly photoshopped panorama.|
|Pretty snazzy seat and retaining wall, no?|
|There is some aggregate showing on the face here, but we both like how it looks.|