The fencing is mostly done now (Except for a few small areas. Pics later) so it's time to widen my driveway. I got started this morning by removing the dirt and squaring up the edges for forms.
The driveway that I want to widen runs along the north side of the property, leading to the garage. Here's a before pic of the project. The area is to the right of the fence, just in front of the garage. It's dirt and gravel. You can see why I need to widen it.
It's fairly big, I figure about 7 yards of concrete to cover, so I got smart and hired a little help for the dig.
That's a sweet little Kubota backhoe. Really, I want one. Bad. Still, for 140 bucks he dug out 5 tons of soil and hauled it away. Considering the potential wear and tear on my old, fat body it was money well spent.
There is still plenty of shovel work yet to be done. I have to flatten and level to 4 inches depth plus dig out the edge at the fence line to put in my forms. Either rebar or metal mesh for the support.
I'll do the pour in two sections. The first will be this area just in front of the garage. Note that the closest edge is angled. More on that in a minute.
The next one will be this section along the fence. Notice my assistant? Daddy's little helper.
Ok, a quick word on odd measurements and concrete calculations. I use this calculator but there's a bunch of them out there. There's also a section on measuring and calculating odd shapes.
Here's how it works. First I measured the angled side. Right at 14 feet.
Divide that in half - 7 feet - and place a marker.
Now measure the length from the fence to that 7 foot mark you just placed. In this case it's 21 feet. That's our length measurement.
Now to measure the width. Again, I'm measuring at a point that's approximately the average of the whole since it's also a bit irregular. If I erred it's on the generous side. I'll talk about that later on. 10 feet.
I'll dig out the bottom to as close to a uniform 4 inches as I can manage. Back to the calculator. Plug in the numbers, 10'x21'x4" and we get 2.59 yards. I'll round that up and order 2.75 yards (though I may up that to 3 depending on last minute needs).
Here's some advice from my experiences with concrete. Measure and order as generously as you can without going nuts. I can always find a place to use any extra concrete I get delivered but if you run short it's an absolute pain in the ass. If not corrected immediately you run the risk of a badly botched job and maybe even a re-do. Trying to shorten forms on the fly with the concrete pouring is an absolute nightmare most emphatically to be avoided. Most concrete companies will also charge you an extra delivery fee for small orders. Locally it's anything under 2 yards so I'm good. I'll have a couple of small areas I want to have concreted in dug, formed and ready to take the extra I will end up with.
Have an area ready for clean out. The concrete truck driver will need to hose out his chute and maybe even his barrel if yours is his last or only delivery (occasional and unusual but something to be ready for). That concretey water needs to go somewhere and having a place ready you can direct him to helps immensely. Otherwise he will hose his stuff down somewhere you may not want him to. Those trucks are expensive and he's responsible. I've seen drivers dump their loads and do clean outs in some pretty awful places. Even in a street gutter. Avoid this and give your driver a break.
Break down your pours so you don't have to try and manage too much all at once if it's possible. 7 yards is really an awful lot of concrete for the do it yourselfer. Doable certainly but by no means painless. When we poured the slab for the garage we didn't really have a choice. It was all or nothing. On this pour I have a natural place to make a break and do the slab in two pours and that's exactly what we're going to do. If you've got a bunch of help by all means, go for it. It's just me and Lu these days so I'll make it as easy on us as possible. Besides, I'm old.
I'll take tomorrow and the weekend to finish the ground and forms to get it ready for the pours. I'll place the order on Monday and should have the first done on Tuesday and the entire driveway finished by Wednesday. Pics to come.