West Coast Contemporary Style
Timeless Concrete Designs
This is a modern/contemporary residential concrete project and on this project we were asked to form and pour a new concrete patio, concrete walkway, concrete retaining walls, concrete steps, and a new concrete driveway. During the process we also removed and hauled away an existing asphalt driveway. In addition to the concrete work, we were also asked to excavate an area for an outdoor swimming spa and tie a drain into the existing drainage system. Check out the different stages of our concrete construction process below
Exacavation Stage one
We started by excavating for the swimming spa, keeping all excavation material on site, to later be used as backfill. After excavating for the swimming spa, we accurately laid out the concrete footings for retaining walls, excavated, then removed the existing asphalt driveway. Walls on a property must not exceed 4ft in height from finished grade. With this considered we always use precision tools like laser levels during all preparation stages of the concrete construction process to ensure by-law requirements like this are never infringed upon.
The Walls Poured
Following the excavation staged, we then formed and poured concrete footings. Concrete footings are a must when constructing concrete walls, combined with steel reinforcement, concrete footings help maximize wall stability. When pouring concrete walls that also act as an architectural concrete feature, we use top quality paper-faced plywood, with an internal bracing system that leaves behind an ultra smooth finish and a uniform cone pattern in the concrete wall. These concrete walls have a cascading effect along the driveway, and are completely level along the alley way.
When constructing retaining walls, of any material, it is extremely important to have a proper drainage system in-place behind the wall. This is to stop the build-up of hydrostatic pressure which could eventually cause a retaining wall to fail. Keeping this in mind while forming the retaining walls, we implemented a 4” drainage pipe going through the bottom of the wall in 8ft increments that can later be tied to drain tile allowing for drainage through the wall.
Steps are formed
After pouring the smooth finish concrete patio we then formed the walkway and stairs. The concrete stairs feature six smooth finish concrete steps that connect the driveway to the upper walkway and patio.
On the fourth pour of this project, we poured the walkway, and set of concrete stairs. The walk consisted of a smooth finish with 1.5 inch gaps between each equal sized section of the walkway. The small gaps will later be filled with decorative rock, or have grass grow between.
The Final Pour
Our final two pours on this project were the driveway. Similar to the concrete walkway, the driveway is divided by 1.5 inch gaps between each section. We decided to break this driveway into two pours as it was to be a smooth concrete finish and there was little to no access from the sides. To achieve a smooth finish, we use knee boards and finish the concrete with hand tools.
Now that all pours have been completed, we had to implement a concrete saw cut through the sections of the driveway. This type of concrete saw cut is known as a relief cut. Relief cuts are used to help avoid visible cracking in concrete, and to coach any cracking to follow in the saw cut. Once the project driveway was saw cut, we carefully stripped all the forms.
Before finishing at any project or job site, we always make sure to do a thorough clean up of any debris left behind from the concrete construction process, as well as give all the new concrete work a wash to rid it of any dust caused by saw cutting.
The Finished Product
The homeowners couldn’t be happier with the finished results. All aspects of this contemporary concrete project truly tie together. Our team can’t wait to see what this project evolves into once the landscaping and swimming spa have been completed. It is important to note, that when replacing, or having a new concrete driveway, it cannot be used for a minimum of 28 days after the final pour.