Here's what happened today: the cement truck pulled into the alley behind our house.
The decking crew came too and got right to work. They spread more sand and taped off the house so that it wouldn't get dirty from the cement. Then they started moving wheel barrows full of cement.
This is not easy work. The only guy standing and watching was Bill, our pool contractor. And me – I took pictures.
In the photo above you can see one guy smoothing the surface of the cement. There were 2 guys spreading it into place and making it level. And then there were the 2 guys with the wheel barrows. And their boss, Al, who was overseeing and doing whatever needed doing.
After the cement got set enough, they stamped the pattern into the concrete. The stamps aren't at all what I imagined. They were thin and flexible. One was 3'-4' square and the smaller one might have been about 18" square.
That hole you see is a drain. They put 3 or 4 in and connected them to a french drain to move the water off the deck, away from the house.
We chose a pattern that looks like sandstone in a sandstone sort of color. Bill said to go darker than we want because over the course of the first year, it will lighten. The way it works is that once they smooth the concrete, they spread the concrete stain "dust" over it. As the concrete sets up, it draws in the color. They also added dark highlights to make it look more natural. It should be set up and looking good in a couple of weeks.
We've also been working on the fence. Here's a shot from Sunday…
And this is what it looks like on the outside: