Sunday, October 20, 2013

Patio Slabs in the Desert

The work continues on our desert cabin project. This weekend was a bit of a nail-biter because my worker (Charles) has been sick and was hospitalized for a few days. He hasn't been answering phone calls or e-mails, but he did text me that he thought he would be OK by Saturday. I scheduled the cement truck for 10 AM Saturday morning (4 1/2 yards of cement) and crossed my fingers that Charles was feeling better and would show up. Thankfully, he IS feeling better (at least a little... he still looked like a strong wind would blow him over and was visibly stiff and in pain) and he did show up. I had a shovel or trowel in my hand most of the day, so thanks to my wife for taking most of these pics!!
The cement truck dwarfs our little homestead cabin, which you can hardly see! The hills in the background are part of Joshua Tree National Park.

The cement comes down the chute from the truck. Charles is using a bull float rented from Home Depot to smooth out the cement. This slab in the front is 16' by 8'. There are two smaller slabs in the back to be poured.
Trying to get the truck in close enough for the slabs behind the house was a real challenge!  Had to take out part of the creosote bush and get within inches of the cabin, but all worked out.
You can see from the photo above that the chute barely reached the second slab, so a lot of heavy lifting was needed to shovel and rake the cement to fill in the slab.
But the hard work paid off and the slabs in the back came out great!
For the final step, Charles is mixing iron sulfate with water to color the cement a nice coffee/rust color. Very rustic looking, and fits well with a desert cabin. If you look behind Charles, you can see the view from the front porch.
Charles is using a broom to apply the iron sulfate stain to the concrete.
Later in the day, my wife noticed a tarantula walking across the road. He's a beauty, wouldn't you agree? A great end to a fun, productive day!


  1. well, i sure hope you didn't put charles back in the hospital with all that work! yikes! looks back-breaking from here!

  2. I assume the slabs are just for that and nothing more since no foundation bolts were stuck in thus there is no add-on building? I envy your little place in the sun.

  3. Beautiful blog and photoes!Love it:))

  4. Never thought to see a concrete truck in such environment. I made a few rusty concrete floors myself and it is always a stunning effect. but gosh what do you get a smashing view from your terrace. Congratulates you with your cabin.

  5. Never thought of mixing the cement yourself then. Love that spider

  6. Great view from the front porch! The spider...not so much though. Shudder. I guess you take the good with the bad in desert.

  7. You are going to have just the most special little cabin! All the tlc going into it can only be a good thing.

  8. I find it hard to appreciate the beauty of a tarantula. (Shudder!)
    May you enjoy your cabin thoroughly.

  9. I think my position is that the spider is great - but I'm glad we dont have them!

    Stewart M - Melbourne

  10. Great place to relax ... about the tarantula, I will feel more safe inside *lol*


  11. Phew, I can see why you were worried about your worker, if you had this planned! But you guys got it done! Tell me what is in Joshua Tree that you like to spend the weekends there? Is it a certain season that it's particularly beautiful, or is there a Nature park there!

  12. Your little house looks ADORABLE! When may we see the inside? You guys also get better sunsets then us, but we have a 10,000 foot mountain between us and the setting sun! No fair!
    Cheryl Ann