Sunday, April 30, 2006

Kitchen remodel

It was time to enclose the kitchen and put a better floor so we chose crushed granite, readily available at our local road material yard. It made a tremendous difference in the dust level!
We moved in a larger table, pulled an electrical circuit with an outside, heavily coated gauge #10 /3 wire because we were about a 100feet from the panel and installed a refrigerator. THAT WAS A MAJOR IMPROVEMENT!!!

Pouring the floor

I must say at this point , that I have the utmost respect for those who do cement work. It is the most demanding part of building a house.
When we got to this point , we received a bid to pour the cement for our small 130 square foot building with the 4 foot porch . It was going to cost about $2,000. So we decided to do it ourselves.
We first set the forms by staking boards around the perimiter. Cement is very heavy so you cannot have weak walls to which the cement will form against. We then marked the floor level and dug down 4 inches for the middle of the room and dug a foot deep around the perimiter for the footings to give the building a solid foundation. A metal mesh was placed on the floor to help give it more strengh.
We needed to mix 4 cubic yards of cement : The supplies are 1 yard of sand/ 1 1/2 yards of gravel, 24 -92lb sacks of portland cement ( 2 parts sand, 3 parts gravel,1 part cement and about 5 gallons of water) and a cement mixer which we rented for $63.00 for 24hours. The supplies came to about $184.00 at the time.

The one thing we were told from people in the know is that cement can get away from you . Which translated means YOU HAVE TO WORK FAST or the cement will set and get hard, which is really what you want it to do, but be prepared to work non stop until the job is at a stopping point. This does depend on the temperature and humidity.
It took 12 batches to make a cubic yard, 20 minutes a batch . We rented the mixer on a saturday morning (they were closed on Sunday) so the 24 hours meant we needed to return it by 8:00 monday morning. It took Saturday to pour the inside and Sunday to pour the porch from sun-up to sun down!
I was the mixer and Richard moved the cement to the area and did the finish work. It really helped to organize the piles and keep them all close.