It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s A Porch!

The dumpster and lumber for our addition showed up in the driveway today, so excuse me while I squeal with delight but also because I know it’s catch up time on the blog. There are going to be a lot of different projects going on at once so I’ll be updating them as they get worked on. I am absolutely positive tomorrow is going to be crazy. Why? Andy told his brother to go to bed because he has to be up early tomorrow. Before the mayhem happens let’s play catch up!

Last weekend while Casey and I were ripping boards off the walls in the living room I happened to glance out the window, and I caught my husband standing in our dirt driveway and looking at the house. Except, I knew he wasn’t looking at the house, he was picturing the porch. Meanwhile, I was just excited our living room looked a little more like this.

The next morning Andy told me he needed the cement mixer from the farm to pour the footings for the porch, and before I knew it I heard the tractor coming down the street with a loud clacking noise behind it. The cement mixer is very old, and looks like it should be at a fair. In other words—it’s pretty cool.

Before anything could be mixed though, it was time to mark out the spots for the sonotubes which are used for the footers. Sonotubes are concrete forms used to make the footers. After the concrete is dry, the forms are removed.

After taking some careful measurements, Andy started stringing up his points just to make sure he dug in the correct spots.

There was some geometry involved in the measurements, and I didn’t want to forget what number he told me so I grabbed the nearest marker and wrote it down. On my hand. Paper? Over rated.

Once all of the measurements were taken, Andy placed the base to the sonotubes down and marked the dig line around them. I asked Andy if the bases were necessary and he said no, but that they helped a lot.

After he completed marking the footings, it was time to dig! You never know what you’ll find around here, including a rusty heavy duty cable.

Time for a test fit.

After spending a while measuring, digging, etc. he finally placing them all in. I didn’t get a photo of the sonotube bases in there before he back filled the holes with dirt. I know, I’m really on top of things. Sidebar: Can you spot the dogs? Can you also spot that they are sneakily eating the rest of the popcorn we left on the steps? Trouble makers.

If you look close in the photo above, you’ll notice there’s a gap in the center where there should be a fifth sonotube. After laying them out, Andy realized he needed another base and sonotube. Because the bases weren’t necessary we decided to use a large square piece of concrete we already had left over from another project. To make the sonotube, and I am not kidding, he cut the extra off the tops of all the other tubes (which I’ll show in a moment) and then adhered and braced them together. That might sound wonky, but I swear it will not compromise the structural integrity of our porch in anyway. Mainer ingenuity at work.

Guilty popcorn eating dog at work.

“Who, me?”

After we shooed the dogs inside, it was time to start mixing the cement into concrete.

Casey pulled out only his best for this activity, including his risky business sunglasses—hence his nickname of Tom Cruise.

The boys tried pouring the concrete from the mixer into the sonotubes, which should have worked. However, it didn’t. They just couldn’t tip it far enough to get all of the concrete out. Instead they put it in the wheel barrel and hand shoveled each tube.

Once they were all complete, Andy finally took a break after hours and hours of working straight. These might look all over the place in terms of height, but I promise they are exactly dead on and correct.

After a short break, Andy graded out around the sonotubes so everything was more or less flat again.

I’ll be back soon with another post on the progress of the actual addition itself, since you can tell in the post above part of the siding is missing!



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