Category Archives: Construction/Remodeling

Concrete Counter Tops – Testing Complete

I finally finished my test slab using the recipe I developed for my bathroom countertops. I managed to get the glass in smaller chunks like I wanted by throwing it in a blender, but that resulted in glass that didn’t settle as much when the concrete was vibrated, so there is much less glass exposed than in the test samples, so the counter tops will have that problem corrected. I’ll also attempt to do some layering of the concrete so I can get slightly darker, natural looking layers in there. It’s kind of an oxymoron to throw colored glass into something when you try and make it look like a natural stone. The surface feels really smooth and slick with the finish on it. It’s so much nicer to use a mouse on too. In a couple weeks the glass will get much more reflective and shiny inside as the concrete cures more. I’m not sure why that happens, but I’m glad it does.

Now that I know there aren’t issues with significant cracking (at least on the polished surface, the underside has some minor cracks, but that’s mostly just in the soupy concrete that surfaced) I will mix up a new batch and pour my downstairs bathroom counter top, then make the mold for my upstairs counter top, and get that poured.

View photos of this project

Habitat for Humanity

I’ve been going up to the thriving mecca of Magna since July nearly every Wednesday to help build houses w/ Habitat for Humanity. It’s a riot. You get your regulars, most of which are pretty cool. They’re a mix of retired guys, unemployed guys, guys that work odd hours a couple days a week, and the young single guys with nothing better to do (i.e. me). Then you get the volunteer groups. My favorite has been ATT Wireless because they bring cold drinks, and order pizza. 

Since I’ve been going there we’ve mainly been working on 4 different houses. There are four houses that have already been built and are occupied, with another 8 or 9 lots awaiting some action over the next couple years. Through the summer months most of my time was spent shovelling, and raking gravel for foundations and driveways. It does a wonder for your abs & back 😉 On days where somehow I was able to do something else we mainly framed three of those houses (after the foundations were all done). One is a two story we put the rafters on a couple weeks ago. 

It’s been a lot of fun to learn this much about buliding houses. I don’t know how much longer I’m going to keep going up there. I mean, it is 48.64 miles one way. With 15 total trips up there, that’s 1459.2 miles so far. At least the mileage should be tax deductible. I’m going to be looking at the local habitat group in Provo. They’ve done a very poor job of impressing me before when I inquired with them last year. When I sent in my application to the SLC habitat chapter they called me the very next day. Very impressive. It looks like Provo is actually doing something right now, so maybe I will switch.