Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chipping away

The carpenters are coming tomorrow to build our new porch structure:


The stoop/base that you can see in the 3D mockup is the originally planned size of the wooden structure. When I drew up the detailed plans, it became clear that the structure needed to be smaller. Unfortunately, years ago in a fit of optimism when the concrete was still wet, I placed steel anchors in the concrete to hold the vertical members. Those steel anchors look exactly like this:


The upshot: the steel anchors have to be moved about one foot to the left. Easier said than done, but we'll try:


OK, one down. And, some time later, the other fell, too:


Hmmm, looks like I've got some clean-up to do. Here's a view of the de-anchored anchors. Yes, they are galvanized and seem to have stood up quite well to the test of time: 


The carpenters arrived as promised. The first thing they did was to install the anchors. They used a "chemical anchor" which is basically a tube that mixes up a special chemical "glue" -- essentially, a fine, super-strong mortar. A hole is bored in the concrete, and this chemical mixture is injected. Then the steel anchor is inserted into the hole. Ideally, the chemical anchor fills all the voids. It sets rather quickly to an extreme degree of hardness, so it's quite useful. 

After that the carpenters proceeded to build the structure, including lathes for the concrete roof tiles. Here's what it looks like after Day 1:


And the end of Day 2:


Yes - the tiles on the roof have been up there for over 10 years and have darkened. The new tiles are the same type, but are lighter. The carpenters did a pretty good job, although I must say they had a tendency to rush and "cut corners". I had to be a bit "proctological" with them. They did comply with my requests without arguing or complaining. 

Next will be to install tongue-and-groove panelling on the underside and paint the whole thing to match the house. That and repair the busted-up stoop! The girlfriend/wife/partner of one of the carpenters came by several times, and towards the end she said the project looked "nice". I'm hoping my wife likes it at least that much when it's done.

After some thought, I decided the best/easiest option for the busted-up concrete-and-tile stoop is to bust it up some more.



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