Almost two months ago I told you about the notice we received from the City of Portland to have our sidewalk fixed. It was a huge bummer, as concrete work is pricey and it pushed back a number of other projects that we had “waiting in the wings” to complete.
Here is what our sidewalk looked like at the time:
The city doesn’t really leave a lot of “wiggle room” with their notice. They tell you what needs to be repaired and give you 90 days to fix it or they fix it themselves and send you the (hefty) bill. It was obvious that it would be more affordable to hire a contractor to do the work for us, the only problem was finding a contractor to do the job.
No one really wanted to do this job because it is so difficult to work with the city. We wanted to do the driveway, stairs and porch as well, but it would have required hiring an architect, structural engineer, etc.
We scaled the project back to just the sidewalk (but the FULL sidewalk, instead of just patching the areas that were busted) and the FULL approach (where you drive up, but not the driveway).
I was crushed that my little man was napping when the concrete truck came to pour. He spent the entire day prior watching them break up the concrete and he would have LOVED to see the big truck in our yard.
Once the pouring began, these two men began spreading it around and leveling it out. They had to work quickly before it set. It was pretty amazing to watch!
Here is the finished sidewalk. And here are a couple things I never realized about concrete:
- Concrete comes out easier than you would think. I expected them to show up with jackhammers, but they broke up the whole sidewalk using a stake and a sledgehammer. They also had a caterpillar that moved the large pieces once broken up, but the removal stage only took about an hour.
- Those “boxes” are not really separate pieces. It seems obvious now, but I guess I just never really thought about it before. It’s really just one huge piece of concrete and then they “segment” it by making lines with a stick (literally) before it dries.
- It takes a while to “fully” dry. Although we could walk on the sidewalk just a few short days after they poured it, I couldn’t drive on the approach for a week! This meant, no parking in the garage/driveway for a full week.
Here is our new “approach” that is making a mockery of our driveway.
$3000 later, we have a glorious sidewalk to look at. (It still breaks my heart a little that we spent $3K on a SIDEWALK of all things, but I try to make the best of it and it does look a ton better. Not 3k better, but better).