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Beijinger in Denver | 北京人在丹佛

Building A Dream Patio – Concrete Demo and New Patio Plans

Things have to get worse before getting better, right? (Please tell me it is right – someone? Anyone?)

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As I told you yesterday, we decided to tear out the sinking porches and re-pour a new patio at the back of the house. For concrete work, we hired a local mom-and-pop concrete business.

We are fortunate to live in a very established neighborhood. Our neighborhood does not have a HOA, but all the neighbors took care of their properties and have great curb appeals. It is safe to say that we bought the worst house in the neighborhood (based on the looks). Since we started working on the house, many neighbors paused on their walks and welcomed us to the neighborhood. It was really sweet. They also gave us information of contractors they used in the past. Through our neighbors and realtor, we were be able to find trust-worthy local business to work with. It is important to support local businesses!

In the morning of the Demo day, the father, son, and son-in-law trio from Big Mike’s Concrete showed up and got straight to work. They started demoing the back porch right away:

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And by late afternoon that day, the old back porch, steps next to the house, and the concrete path were completely out:

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I’d like to pause here and give you an overview of our patio plans. You might remember the site plan of our property:

Ranch Site Plan

The half circle adjacent to the back of the house was the existing back porch. There was a concrete path wrapping around the garage side of the house, connecting the front and the back yard. This concrete path was narrower than the porch, leaving a strip of bare dirt next to the house.

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After demo, the entire back porch and the concrete path at the back of the house (where Charlie sat) were gone. The path on the side of the house (including the part in front of the gutter extender) remained.

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And our new patio will start from where the gutter is, and extend along the back of the house for 34 feet. It will look something like this:

Patio plan_back_

You can see the back door in the middle, kitchen window to the right, and the new electrical box (How can I leave it out?) on the left. The barrier on the side of the house is our current chain link fence. We will be replacing it soon and potentially move it towards the front yard. But for now, this is how the patio and fence will look like from the back:

Patio plan back

What about these columns, you may ask? We have plans to add roof structure for the patio in the future. In order to build any kind of roofing over the patio, we would need to prepare the adequate footing for future porch columns. Although these columns will not be built today, they indicates where the footings need to be.

Patio plan_2D

We have not decided what kind of roof we would like to have for the patio yet. But having lived in Southern California, Slav and I are both very into a style called Spanish revival. One of the architectural elements I love the most of Spanish revival is the arcades:

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(via here)

We like the arched columns and the long patio space underneath. Coincidentally, traditional Chinese structures often use covered porches to connect buildings, a lot like these arcades:

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(via here)

So we did some research on what kind of footing are needed for porch roof. This is when I felt really lucky living in Arvada, where all the building codes are crystal clear, and all the requirement, permits and resources related to renovations are neatly organized on the city’s website. With little research, we found this document on the city website clearly indicating what kind of footing we need for future porch roof structure:

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You can see that for supporting the future roof of any kind, the footing needs to be concrete columns that are at least 8″ in diameter, and 3′ deep into the ground.

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The framing went in the next day, and five holes were dug for pouring the footings for future porch columns:

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And rebar are drilled into the foundation:

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We are getting a new backdoor step poured as well. The new patio will be sitting just slightly above the ground level to give out a “more connected to the backyard” vibe. This step is necessary to bridge the deep step-down between the backdoor and the new patio.

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With all the framing complete, the guys moved onto demo the front porch. It was a lot harder due to the depth of the porch, but they got it done, in 90 degree weather!

Concrete trunk scheduled for tomorrow – stay toned!

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1 Comment

  1. Anna Słoniowska

    Spanish revival patio with the arcades is perfect for this house.

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