We finally decided to have a basic, simple sidewalk poured around the cement box that the pool is in. It was cost effective and could be done quickly. Since we had already gone through the process of getting bids for the cement box, I knew who I wanted to contact for the sidewalk. I had really liked the folks at Mr. Mudd, but they had honestly declined to work on the box, saying it was beyond what they felt comfortable doing. Sidewalks, though, they could do; and for a competitive price.
Having been disappointed regularly by contractors not showing up as scheduled, I have been very pleased with the multiple Mr. Mudd representatives that have shown up or called to get this project done. They were prompt and courteous. They also put in a special effort to get this finished for me before a special event at our house.
Not only that, but they were fast workers. It was a controlled, managed kind of fast, where everyone knew what he was doing and did it with energy. The first crew consisted of 5 men that burst into the backyard with vigor, shovels, and wheelbarrows. It was almost mesmerizing to watch their progress, because it reminded me of time-lapse photography. The kind where everything is sped up.
I noticed their wheelbarrows looked a bit gnarly, so it occurred to me to ask about them. The foreman, while continuing to dig and direct, explained with animation how he had started the season with a total of 16 wheelbarrows, but was now down to the 4 I saw. The other men chimed in and said it didn’t matter where they bought them, they became battered in a matter of weeks. They were not wasting any trips. Each wheelbarrow that rolled away was full to capacity.
The dirt was moving fast, but I was puzzled when I saw the wheelbarrows being pushed up toward my barn, instead of down to their truck. As I watched, I could see the form of one workman with his wheelbarrow just behind my lilac bushes. He stopped and turned around, then set the wheelbarrow down for a moment. I immediately sensed the set-up for an “event.” My eyes got wide when he became a super-powered wheelbarrow pusher and RACED up the narrow wooden plank to the back of the truck. Right after this man made it into the truck, the plank fell off of the truck bed with a bang. I’m guessing not many women apply for the job….
In about 4 hours, the forms were in place and the road mix was packed in. Then, that crew was gone without a trace, something else to be appreciated. I only found three loose nails near the project. Other than that, it was left better than they found it.
We had to wait an extra day because of high winds, but 2 days later the cement pouring crew came. Someone else was home, so I went off on a 6 mile run. When I returned in an hour, the cement was poured and the cement truck was just leaving. One man stayed behind to work on texture and all that stuff. He was quiet for the nearly 3 hours that he worked. He formed perfect rounded edges on the outer sides, next to where the lawn will grow, and made those subtle narrow ridges that keep it from being slippery.
One more day, and the last “Mr. Mudd” arrived to pull the forms and stakes. He also filled in dirt around the outer perimeter. Just like all the others, he was cheerful and polite, while getting his work done in good time. If we ever need cement work done again, I will be calling Mr. Mudd.