I will find some more photos on concrete projects I have done for all you who come to check on them. I will get some on this post in a while, since so many of you are going to those projects here today, I thought I would let you know I will show more and talk more on the subject.
I worked on concrete pools in Chicago area in the summer of 1967, I think. That was all grunt work, wheelbarrowing and standing knee deep in concrete, throwing it up on the sides of the future pool until it stuck and quit sliding like an avalanche back down. The wire mesh and re-bar did not hold well when the slurry is so wet. Because of soil freezing there, at that time, the final four feet of the pools were fiberglass.
(I took photos of photos just now at sunset. Color and shadows are not quite right but one can get the idea I hope.)
This is a section of a front patio at the Tucson house I last lived at. Concrete was colored on finishing by applying cement dies to create stone like effects in a “puzzle” patio and walk. I did one section at a time in one area. Line in middle is approx. 18″ long.
In construction in Tucson in the 90’s and even before, I did many footings and things such as that, helped with the occasional sidewalk or pool patio. I was geared more into tile work as time went on at the job as far a masonry work. Primarily, after being many things like, landscaper, pruner, home remodelling, furniture designer, art painting way back when, then carpentry and most aspects of house construction. But concrete is such a cool medium because for a while at least, it is so flexible as a material.
One reason why, with tints and additives plus your own possible experiments at materials to lighten its weight or add to it to reveal in grinding later, it has many more dimensions than traditional construction seemed to have placed it in the heavy (flat plane) industry. If you are making your own mix, you need to have the “right” cement and sand and gravel or other aggregate formula for your project. Some light weight pots for instance, might have a high cement ratio, to peat moss and pearlite, or sand. Martha Stewart can even give you a formula for that!
CONCRETE NEEDS BONES AND MUSCLE FIBERS ITSELF?
Reinforcing it by metal or other material will be crucial to the long term success of most projects. For home building, local codes or inspectors can tell you what requirements are needed for load bearing, and where in the pour these must be placed and how they are connected or suspended. To get a permit will probably require you to have plans that state these, plus the inspector will be called a bit before pour day to check and advise you on any issues.
For the do it yourself homeowner, they (inspectors) can be very helpful information wise on the future steps required by code. I would tend not to try to do a project on a major scale without getting experience or having someone experienced there. It might be a disaster to go on just having watched home improvement TV, or read some books.
Experience gives you that thinking on your feet awareness. While stepping stones or such might be do-able first try with a little self planning and thought. Pots and other things made in moulds might be done first try too. Those are up to your confidence level on crafts. Concrete is usually caustic and should not be on your skin for long. Clean tool used well. It is good to know where you can put some leftover mix. At times homeowners get a almost free small pad or step done by using up leftover mix in the truck.
Photos to come.
Here is the puzzle like effect, actual color of sections is way off in this photo.
That is a hat on left edge. Our cat Smokey chillen’ in the shade. Shadows caused much variation in the actual varying colors of sections too.
Water from rainstorm would flow down and into a concrete “gutter” sloping to this trees water well.
Flowers and other pots I made used in varying ways in yard. I put a branch as a kind of fence to keep one from drifting unknowingly off of patio.
Below. Looking to home from street. Flowers blocking most of patio view
An architect bought the home to live in.
I tiled the steps with sandstone like ceramic tile.
(I probably have much better photos of this and other concrete projects, just have not gotten around to organizing them.)
Here is a block wall I just did. I connected two short 4 foot walls and a gate.