Monday, October 17, 2011

Best Laid Plans

Despite appearances and our best intentions, Dave and I are actually not very good at the planning part of renovating. Most of the time we actually just wing it and figure things out as we go along. For example our recent adventures with the front steps...

We knew we had to eventually replace our front steps to work with the new wider front door... but it was pretty far down the to-do list. Like somewhere on next year's to-do list...

That was until the neighbour lent Dave a jack hammer a couple weeks ago... then we figured it was kind of important to have front steps with winter coming and all... kind of hard to shovel snow off of concrete rubble.

Then while together hiking in Larch Valley the other weekend, our friend Dave, who happens to be a very talented concrete foreman, offered to help us rebuild the front steps. Complete with stamped and stained concrete.

That got us excited. We began searching the Internet for inspiration and stumbled upon this:

All of the sudden our simple plans for new wider steps grew into a new steps and a new porch and a new sidewalk. But thankfully Dave was up to the challenge.

Unfortunately the only time he was available to help us was that coming weekend. So we agreed we would do the form work and rebar on Saturday and then pour the concrete on Sunday. Great! We had a plan but that only gave us five days to get everything organized and complete the demolition.

Dave set to work removing the last of the old concrete (which ended up involving renting a concrete saw) and pulling out the old flower beds, while I was charged with the task of ordering concrete. Easy right - just ask the contractor building the house down the street. Ha! He just laughed and informed me that no one delivers concrete on Sunday and if I did convince some one to deliver they would charge a ridiculous premium. We didn't have much choice so I started to make phone calls...

Four days later, after pretty much exhausting every number in the phone book, I managed to find ONE company in all of Calgary willing to deliver concrete on a Sunday morning - GAL Concrete Couriers. Thankfully their rates were reasonable and they were fantastic to deal with too boot!

Saturday we worked well past dark to have everything ready in time and at the crack of dawn on Sunday morning, the concrete truck pulled into the yard.

By early afternoon on Sunday we had beautiful new stamped and stained concrete.

Sigh... It is no wonder we are always exhausted.


  1. Looks great! I can sympathize -- we don't plan either. We just dive in, blind and naive as newborn kittens.


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