Saturday January 20, 2018
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Terrace Project

A Terrace for Our Picnic Pavilion

Our pavilion has been the venue for numerous outdoor activities since it was completed. We have had many great times including weddings, so many family cookouts I have lost count, Father's Day, birthdays, baby showers, and several gatherings of my old high school classmates. We normally have several events planned at any given time and this season is no exception. So, why are we doing this if everything is going so well? We feel this terrace will be a welcome addition to our picnic area and provide even greater enjoyment to our activities while providing us with an open area and room for more seating.


This is the area where the terrace will be built. I've worked hard to get grass to grow on this end since it doesn't get much sun. It sure was hard to excavate the top 5 or 6 inches of soil. The grade slopes away from the pavilion with enough drop that it will require some fill on the lower end.
This is another view of the excavated area. I'm starting to set the posts which will be used to support the railings.


This is another view. The two corner posts have been set. 

The line posts are now set in place. I'll attach the forms for the concrete to the posts on the sides first. I'll use the forms as a guide to check the depth for the gravel fill and concrete. After everything checks out, I'll put 2 more line posts in the lower end. There will be an opening in the lower end railing to enter and exit.


Two views showing the last 2 posts have been set. These posts will form an opening in the railings to enter and exit from the lower side of the terrace. The forms have also been added, however we are still lacking proper bracing. The gravel has been delivered and after a little more prep work we will fill in leaving 4" for the concrete.


Two views showing the rock is in place and has been leveled 4" below the tops of the forms. I had a full load of rock delivered, which is approx. 21-22 tons. About half the pile is in this pad and the smaller one for the grill house project. A hydraulic line burst on my skid steer just as I finished moving the last of the rock. Yes, I said "just as I finished". Can you believe it? Doesn't usually happen that way.


Joe Johnson, my concrete man, and his crew showed up right on time, and Sequatchie Concrete had a truck right behind them! It's always a relief when the crews show up exactly when they say they will, and Joe does. This crew has done all my concrete work over the last 11 years: the pavilion, my garage, my driveway, and now the terrace and cook area. That's over 62 yards of concrete.


They added a little water and got the mix just right and now are starting to spread the concrete and fill the forms.


The crew works concrete mix, and once the forms are full, they use a bull float to level the mix.


There it is. The first pad is starting to cure while they work on the pad for the cook area (but that's another project!). The big power float really puts a nice finish on the concrete. The operator can read the surface and knows when to run the machine or when to add a little water to get the finish just right.


Now the slab gets a nice rounded top edge.

Just a matter of time now and the forms can come off.


Great job guys.

A couple days later and I have removed the forms and put the railings around the new terrace.


View from the lower side

Carol caught me looking things over just after I finished the last railing.


I have moved the pile of dirt that was excavated from the terrace area and brought about a half dozen loader buckets of dirt over to cover the area around the terrace. I am running the tiller through to break up the soil and get it ready for seed.


I've raked it, removed 4 wheelbarrow loads of rocks, seeded it, and covered it with straw. It's supposed to rain tomorrow. We have 5 weeks before our next cookout. I hope the grass comes in really thick by then. For now, I still have more work to do to the grill house.


Nothing like a great party to celebrate the completion of another project!

The new terrace has seen plenty of action during the first couple of months after completion.

I love it when a plan comes together!