As I was watering the sidewalk this morning, I met a bunch of people who liked what we were doing to the house.
Yes, I was watering the sidewalk. Here’s the full story:
Early in the year, I received a summons from the fabulous city of Yonkers, requiring us to have our sidewalk fixed. And in the FCoY, that means that we had to pay for it! Sing out, brothers and sisters! Oh joy! Oh fabulous joy. (Or to get rid of the sarcasm, and to quote Dr. Smith in the show Lost In Space… “Oh the pain, William. The Pain.”
After interviewing countless people (well, okay, four) different people, and getting four very divergent bids, I went with the first person who I had interviewed. (Hmmm… perhaps this should be a lesson.) He had quoted significantly less than the other guys, was recommended by the city of Yonkers, and actually seemed like he knew his stuff. Not that the other guys didn’t, but he knew his stuff, and he was licensed by the city, and he would be ready to go in only a month.
So we settled on a price (which consisted of him giving me the price, and me trying to get him even lower than he had gone, and him saying “This is a fair price.” Which I already knew. But you know, for me, nothing was fair, as this was what is known in the biz as a U.E. (Unexpected Expense.)
(this is a bit of an aside, but I always say to the guy who says “Well what do you WANT to pay?” “Nothing. Does that work for you?” I mean, I don’t want to pay for stuff– I would much rather just take it and maybe they throw in an extra $50 bucks because I was polite or something. That’s how the world should work. People should pay me. Alas, I am not a moviestar!)
Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. So we negotiated the price, I paid the deposit, and a day after coming back from Colombia, he calls me to say, “We come tomorrow, Mr. Adam” And I’m like fine.
They come the next day and start digging out the sidewalk with 5 guys, a couple of picks, a long metal pole, and a Bobcat. You know, one of those mini-tractors with a big claw/shovel? I have to say that the bobcat was the most useful, and made me want to get one. It can reap a lot of destruction for a little machine. Of course I wouldn’t know how to use it. But should that stop me?
They dig out the sidewalk, and there are TREE roots underneath the sidewalk. Big pieces of trees! Then they layer the big gaping holes. with big rocks, that they then pound down to make smaller, and they come back the next day (A saturday)
By 1 pm, they have laid a huge honking amount of cement, smoothed it down, put little lines it for rain, and it has started to dry. They leave a guy here from 1 to 5 to make sure that none of the local hoodlums write their name in our brand new cement, and by the way, could you water the sidewalk tomorrow?
Apparently, cement that dries needs to be watered as it cures to make sure that it doesn’t crack. My neighbor (a former cement guy from Brazil) told me I need to water it for close to an hour) While it’s definitely true that it seemed to suck up the water like a camel after 30 days out in the sun, I only did it for 35 minutes. Does this make me a bad homeowner? Whatever.
It was definitely a nice meet the neighbors talking point though. I did have one guy who ignored the caution tape and walked on the sidewalk anyway. Perhaps he was green with envy about
Tomorrow they come back to smooth out the land around the sidewalk, to take out the wood that molded the sidewalk into place, and in general to make sure that I’m satisfied.
Which I am. MZ Construction 914-376-3890. Highly recommend!