November 12, 2023
Fork Equity colleague and internet friend Anthony came to visit for the weekend and our first stop was Home Depot for concrete and supplies.
16 bags should produce a pad 15 sq feet, 6 inches deep

the goal was simple - pour a small (3x5') concrete pad behind our garage to make the back door a little less awkward. this should have been done by the original home builders but who knows, small towns are getting wrecked by Chinese fentanyl and all that.

i'm not really sure how to pour concrete having only done it once before, but we jumped right in by first constructing "footers" and spikes. these are necessary to both keep in the oozing concrete but also ensure your pad is square.
we used 2 small nails to keep the side boards connected

during this step we also used small shovels to scrape away most of the grass and roots. this is to prevent them from decomposing later and creating air pockets that will lead to cracks in the concrete surface.
it ain't much but it's honest work

next we added a layer of gravel from our wagon trail, which is the pseudo driveway that runs between the pastures.
finally we began mixing, pouring, and trowel-ing. for just $38 we rented this mixer for 4 hours and returned it, cleaned off and everything, at the 3 hour and 42 minute mark.
getting ready to dump

after letting it dry for around an hour we gave it a nice brush and applied a cornering tool for a more professional finish. i did a pretty crappy job with it but still prefer this over a fully brushed look.
brush the middle, corner the sides

fun fact, it actually rained throughout the job but apparently that's no big deal and everything was rock hard by dinner.

and here's the finished product. i took this picture the next day after throwing away the footings and wiping off the concrete that splattered on the wall and back door.
ignore the hose on the fence - we do NOT live like that

here's the financial breakdown:

- 9 bags of concrete @ $5.47 /each + tax
- 1 mixer rental @ $47 (incl fees/tax)
- 3 hours' labor from Anthony @ $0

i'm not counting the other ~$30 spent on the hand trowel and cornering tool because they'll be used again and again.

i still lack many skills. but pouring a 3x5' concrete pad is no longer one of them.
Spent: $99.68 | Time: 3.5 hours
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