Front Exterior & Front Yard

We Have A New Front Sidewalk!

As of this morning, the new sidewalk from the street to the front porch is finished! And I can’t believe how much a simple sidewalk can transform the front of a house.

Remember what it looked like before? It was narrow, old, cracked, and had low spots where it flooded every time we got a hard rain.

And now, it looks like this!

I took that picture right after they removed the forms early this morning and then wet the concrete down. I wasn’t quick enough to get the pictures before he grabbed the hose and started spraying it with water, so I’ll get better pictures later.

In the end, I decided to go with just plain concrete with a broom finish. I had hoped to have exposed aggregate, but the city requires that the first seven feet from the curb be plain concrete, and I just couldn’t imagine having seven feet of plain concrete and then the rest exposed aggregate. So plain concrete it is, and to be honest, I’m perfectly fine with that. It’s the easiest to maintain and keep clean with a pressure washer, and I’m incredibly happy with how it turned out.

The whole process started last week when the old concrete sidewalk, steps, and flower garden border were torn out. It was fascinating to watch! I love watching demolition. 🙂

The most surprising part of that process was watching the flower garden border being removed. I couldn’t believe how thick and deep this thing was! It was almost as if it was originally intended to be a foundation perimeter and not just a flower garden border. It was so heavy and thick that he had a hard time breaking it apart.

But finally, it was all gone.

Then on Tuesday, they started setting the forms for the new sidewalk, and on Wednesday they added all of the rebar.

Interestingly, the original sidewalk that was removed didn’t have a single piece of rebar or reinforcement of any kind. This one, on the other hand, is thoroughly reinforced and tied into the porch foundation and the curb with rebar.

And finally yesterday, it was time for the new concrete. Peeve was as intrigued by the process as I was. 😀

I don’t know why, but I just love watching concrete being poured.

And they got about two feet from the curb and ran out of concrete. 😀

They had to make a quick trip to Home Depot (I think) for some extra bags of concrete to finish up. I was concerned that it wouldn’t match, but Crispin (the main concrete guy) is a genius. He shoveled the concrete from the truck into a pile, mixed and poured the bag concrete into the empty section, and then smoothed the pile of concrete from the truck on top to ensure that it would all be the same color. Isn’t that brilliant? I don’t think I would have thought of doing that. I would have just panicked. 😀

But it all worked out perfectly, and I just love this new sidewalk. The two curves on each side will eventually veer off into additional sidewalks — one that will meet the driveway close to the studio portico door, and another that will go the other direction, around the side of the house, and to the back yard. My goal is to have sidewalks all the way around so that Matt can get all the way around the house easily.

But those will have to wait. As far as concrete goes, the driveway is our top priority now, and that will cost a small fortune. So for now, I’ll just enjoy my shiny new front sidewalk and plan my new, wide front steps.



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37 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jane
    August 3, 2018 at 10:04 am

    That is simply amazing!!!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Melissa K
    August 3, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Lovely!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kristine Brown
    August 3, 2018 at 10:16 am

    Wow! The front of your house has come a LONG way!! Very beautiful 🌸

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    LindaLee
    August 3, 2018 at 10:18 am

    I really like the walkway wider. And smart planning ahead for the flanking walkways! You are always one step of yourself! 😄

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sandra
    August 3, 2018 at 10:20 am

    I look forward every day to seeing your progress!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Colette J.
    August 3, 2018 at 10:20 am

    Oh yes, I can just see it with plants running down the sides. Lovely!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lauren
    August 3, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Looks great! It’s always amazing to me how something rather basic can make such a big difference.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Casey
    August 3, 2018 at 10:33 am

    I’m like you, I love to watch demolition too! The sidewalk looks great. And that was genius to think of using the concrete out of the truck to cover and match with what was already poured. I wouldn’t have thought of it. I’m so happy you’ve been able to get some exterior projects done. It helps balance your brain in knowing that, yes, it’s all getting done, inside and out. It also gives variety to plan and work on. You are making such a fantastic place from your “diamond in the rough”. Love seeing all your progress.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila
    August 3, 2018 at 10:39 am

    Looks great! What’s next?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Nancy
    August 3, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Looks like they did a great job and it sure looks good.

    Nice to see there is someone in this world that gets excited about watching concrete being poured and be amazed at Crispin solving a problem so easy. Believe he has been doing this for a while.
    Makes you feel like you definitely hired the right man for the job!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    CathyR
    August 3, 2018 at 10:56 am

    I watched and photographed my driveway being redone. It was fascinating; I couldn’t figure out what the propane tank was for till they began to roll it out. Of course the huge machine can’t get real close to the house so they use a torch to heat the material along side the house then hand tamp it.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Arli
    August 3, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Looking real good!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Alta Craig
    August 3, 2018 at 11:02 am

    Looks great! how will Matthew be able to get down the steps to access the sidewalks around the house? What kind of plantings will you be putting along the sidewalk?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Adele
      August 3, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      He will exit at the back by the carport where there is a ramp. From there he will be able to access the sidewalks that will go around the house.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Dale
    August 3, 2018 at 11:06 am

    It is so exciting getting something new and improved. We had awful sidewalks for years and I was ecstatic when we were able to get new! Looking great Kristi!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Andrea
    August 3, 2018 at 11:29 am

    It looks fabulous!!! Classic broom swept for the win! Sometimes it’s kinda nice to have the choices narrowed down.

    I can’t remember- which cat took a walk on the wet countertops? 😀 While I’m sure it wasn’t funny at the time… that’s such a cat thing. lol Was it Peeve? Or the one that has passed?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Linda
      August 3, 2018 at 11:46 am

      She lost their dog Boo. Don’t believe she lost a 🐈.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi
      August 3, 2018 at 12:12 pm

      That was Powder, our little flame point Siamese who died in 2014. And you’re right, it certainly wasn’t funny at the moment. I freaked out when it happened! 😀 But we’ve had quite a few laughs about it since then.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kimberly Baxter-Brown
    August 3, 2018 at 11:35 am

    It looks great! So happy that you have this off your list. Keep up the progress.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    August 3, 2018 at 11:47 am

    Looks so great! Am so happy for you guys 👍😀

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jean
    August 3, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    Great choice!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lynette
    August 3, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    I was mesmerized by the concrete pour at my house as well:) A lot gets done in a short amount of time! My concrete guy told me to NEVER pressure wash my patio, sidewalk or driveway….

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Lisa E
      August 3, 2018 at 2:31 pm

      Yes i have been told that, too. How does one clean it then? I wasn’t told that. Ours need cleaning badly.

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Lynette
        August 3, 2018 at 2:43 pm

        Our concrete guy said to hose it down, squirt dawn dish soap on it, then scrub with a stiff bristle brush.

        Once that’s done, I seal it (each year) with sealant applied with a roller with a fairly flat nap. And as he says “don’t paint yourself into a corner!” After 24 hours it’s good to go!

        • Reply To This Comment ↓
          Lisa E
          August 3, 2018 at 7:00 pm

          Lotsa work. Can do for sidewalk but no way for my long driveway. 😐 Thx so much for info! 😁

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa Johnson
    August 3, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    The new walk looks great! Makes everything look fresh a new! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cathy in WV
    August 3, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    I have exposed aggregate that runs along the street in front of my house and that stuff is SLICK when it’s wet. It may have to do the age because it’s really old. Either way, even though it was put in by the town, I’m the one responsible for maintaining it and also the one responsible if anyone falls and gets hurt. I live in fear that someone will slip on it when it’s wet. I live in a really small town, with very little traffic on the side streets, and most everyone walks in the street instead of using the sidewalks, so fingers crossed. And your new sidewalk looks fantastic!! I hope you sneak a hand print or at least a date on it before it dries…maybe under where the new steps will be built?

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    August 3, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    I hadn’t thought about the cities’ easement and your walkway. I wouldn’t want two different looks either. Let’s hope they won’t need to mess with your walk ever, because I’m sure then your color will be off as well. I too love watching this sort of thing! We were at our house build almost every day (told our builder to expect that from us when we hired him! LOL!) and got to learn a bunch of things – more of the “whys” in regard to the processes and it gave us a calm mind knowing that “this is done before that, so this can be done easier.” We were late arriving for our driveway and walk pour, and as a result, the walkway wasn’t done the way I wanted. But I found out it was because it would have required more concrete, and the budget was already overrun, so it was reduced to standard width and length. I wanted it further away from the house for bigger planting beds, and a more serpentine shape. Not a big deal, but it was at the time! I’m over it now.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Linda
    August 3, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    I love it!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debbie
    August 3, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    Looks so long and great. Precious kitty was making sure they did it correctly, too cute. Our furbies are so nosy when something is going on at our home – just keeping the peace.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debs
    August 3, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    Fabulous!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Maggie
    August 3, 2018 at 5:42 pm

    Looking good! I have a question though. Will there be a second accessible exit for Matt?

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Cindy
      August 4, 2018 at 7:44 am

      Right now they have a door off their bedroom for a second exit

      • Reply To This Comment ↓
        Maggie
        August 6, 2018 at 11:18 am

        Is that in addition to the exit to the new ramp out back? I am sure Kristi has two exits but I am the proverbial Mother hen. Just concerned, that’s all.lol

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sharon C
    August 4, 2018 at 1:17 am

    What a difference your new sidewalk makes to the front of your home. It’s night and day difference!!!! Your curb appeal is really ramping up! Great job.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Peggy
    August 6, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Kristi, I have been fascinated by all your renovations and projects. Your sidewalk turned out perfectly.
    I am living in a 1950 ranch very similar to yours. We’ve done all new windows, siding and interior floors. Now we are getting estimates for a new concrete drive, raised covered walkway/porch and large back patio. It is expensive but will be so worth the additional value. Unfortunately, our small town requires the end of hardscaped driveways to be asphalt. I can’t imagine how this will look at the end of concrete. Ugh. Estimates for concrete drive is $2300. So far we’re looking at $4300 for all three projects. I am basing my covered walkway/porch on the picture of your new raised porch. You are an inspiration.

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