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Friday, September 16, 2016

Patio Project 2016


So, in my last post I told you we were building a patio but I wanted to expand a bit on that.

Ever since Steve and I moved into our house, we've always desired more outdoor space to enjoy.  The lot of our house was originally huge, a couple of owners before us sub-divided the lot and built a house on what used to be the backyard... and it's taken away any space that we would have had to enjoy our time outdoors.  We have a small cement slab of 'patio' between our house and garage, but it's very sheltered and not a desirable space.
So, with that background, we've always talked about putting a nice patio off our front door - we have a corner lot and a park across the street, so with our front door being right on that corner, it's the perfect place to have an outdoor space.
So this past Spring Steve says to me "let's build our patio this summer"... WHOA!  Okay!!  I always thought this was just a pipe dream and would never actually happen.

So... it's been a very LONG drawn out process and we've been doing ALL the work ourselves (with the exception of some stucco we needed patched up) mostly because we've learned that hiring the work out is a crock!  I can't even tell you how many days were wasted waiting to hear back from people on one job or another.  Seriously... PISSED!

Sometime in the last 5 years we discovered that the old cobblestone street pavers in Minneapolis had been salvaged and we're available for purchase, but they were pretty expensive.  Until one day we learned about a place that was selling these beautiful granite pavers for CHEAP!  So... these things are huge (like 5"x9" and 5" thick) and beautiful, around 20#-30# each, rose granite, gray granite, pink quartzite:

The catch is that you have to go this yard and pick them yourself from a pile as tall as a house.  Also, most of them are filthy and many have cement stuck to them.  So once you have the bricks you want, you have to spend the time using an air chisel to remove the cement and then power wash them all.

So let's count... So far we've lifted the 20# brick to load it, lifted the 20# brick to unload it, lifted the 20# brick to chip cement off it (the air chisel is no joke), and then lifted the 20# brick to move it to be power washed... AND THEN lifted the 20# brick after power washing.

Next you have to remove stairs from your house.. because they are heavy and causing the stucco to break open...
I tried to operate the jack hammer, but it was far too heavy for me, so I only got in about 45 seconds


and then you have the stucco people come and fill in the hole on your house (this process was painful, the communication of the company was lackluster, at best, and I almost didn't want to pay the final payment because of the length of time we had to wait):


The next step of this patio is to dig out the space, right?  So we rent this beast:
and while you won't find a photo of this, I promise (and I have witnesses to back me up), I operated that thing the entire weekend!!  It was a bucket list sort of things for me.



Then of course you lay a gravel base and tamp it


Next we had sand delivered and we are ready to start laying bricks!
laying the first brick



This is the point we are at right now:

It's a challenge for sure, laying these bricks in a pattern, they are different sizes and shapes... more of a puzzle than anything.  We're getting there... slow and steady wins the race, my friends!

We removed the stairs the last weekend of July and now here we are almost 7 weeks later (working mostly weekends only, and mostly just the 2 of us) and we probably have over half of our bricks laid.  Our goal is to have all the bricks in place by end of day Monday and cross our fingers for good weather next weekend for filling in the gaps with our bonding sand.

I will try to remember to come back in a few weeks and post the finished product!!  I'm really excited for the historic value this patio will provide, not to mention, FINALLY having a place to sit outside and enjoy a nice glass of wine!

~Cheers~
Ang

1 comment:

Kristi said...

It is gorgeous!!! What a big, tough jib for just the two of you! Wow, I'm very impressed!

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