There are so many different ways to build a porch. Since the house is modeled after the traditional Denver Square home we knew it needed to have the classic brick porch with columns. With that, we had the concrete contractor frame and pour walls and once the forms were stripped Scott was able to backfill and compact the void. Then the concrete contractor was back to pour the top concrete slab. Note that the concrete formwork left voids in the concrete that created the space for the eventual brick façade to rest.
The process would actually be a lot quicker if we hired someone to do everything (including the backfill and compaction). But we have found in the past that if you leave everything to the contractor they don’t seem to have the conviction that we have. For instance they might have backfilled but would have been lazy on the dirt compaction end. If the dirt isn’t compacted with the right backfill (dirt with less air gaps) the top slab will be compromised and prone to cracking. We learned this the hard way with Tandem House 1 (the back house) and are committed to ensuring that everything is done correctly the first time on this house.
I was surprised when Scott said that he was going to tackle framing the balcony project alone. In all honesty he had no choice because the guys that helped with interior framing picked up and moved to Steamboat, CO. We were bummed at first but having Scott do it not only saves us money but ensures that it is done right. Sometimes I forget what he is capable of because he makes it look easy; from surveying, ordering lumber and getting fabricated metal columns, he does it all (with very little help from me)!