Last week, our foot walk was finished. We opted to make cement blocks/ concrete slabs rather than buy paver blocks or brickstones. Reason: Cost-effective. We still have leftover sand, nails and lumber. And we have a cement mixer.
We made 40×50 cm blocks. The mix was 1:2:4 which means 1 sack of cement, 2 sacks of sand and 4 sacks of gravel. One sack of cement mix made 9 blocks.
I had two men working. First, they made forms made of leftover lumber. Do they look like the mahogany planks? Yes, they were leftover mahogany and teak planks. The coco lumber used during construction were already given away. Rather than store them in the backyard where termites could possibly infest.
The rectangular forms were placed on a flat surface. No need to put plywood at the bottom. Sack or sand was put at the bottom so that the blocks would not stick to the soil when the forms would be taken out.
The nails used during the installation of wood floor were also saved. A little hammering to straighten the nails and they were good for reuse. What I bought was just one cubic of ordinary gravel.
The men used the cement mixer. But the blocks can be done mano-mano (manually using a shovel). When using the mixer, first turn on the mixer. Pour in some water, then gravel, then sand, and lastly, the cement. Pour in more water in between the pouring the aggregates to achieve the desired consistency.
I was not around when they did the first batch of blocks. They made the mistake of pouring in the cement first. When they poured in the gravel, the mix started to form clumps, stick to the sides of the mixer and would not mix with the sand anymore.
But before I left the house, I asked them if they know how to use the mixer. They said “yes”.
Lesson of the story: Do not just trust the “yes”. Ask further to demonstrate or tell you how to do it step by step. To minimise surprises. For also in life, a lot of surprises or disappointments are due to miscommunication. Or a “yes” misunderstood.
After a week from filling in the blocks with concrete mix, the forms were already taken out. The blocks were showered with water for a few days so as not to crack.
There, the foot walk was positioned at the backyard. When it rains, our slippers or shoes would not get muddy anymore when walking from the garage to the backdoor.
And also, nice tool to teach my daughter addition and skip counting. 🙂
Have a blessed day my friends. And always wear a smile.