Friday, October 31, 2008

First, make a plan

Ken did a great job of estimating the time and materials needed.

Material Estimation

The Bill of Materials

Attack plan 10/25/2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Digging "the pit"

The patio needs to be laid on a base of sand and gravel, so first the sod is stripped off, then the dirt is removed down to the suggested level.
Building the fence was a previous project. From this angle it actually looks pretty straight.
Note: Those sunflowers were a lot sunnier in September.
Just a few of the many, many, many rocks we dug, pried, or pickaxed out while preparing the patio space. Our yard is nothing more than a thin layer of sod covering a massive pile of debris dumped by a receding prehistoric ice sheet that probably looked something like this:

There's lots of other very cool ice age features to see over in Eastern Washington, but I digress.

The handy dandy rooftop rack

We had to rent a wheelbarrow from Home Depot because the one we already have wasn't up to the job.

Our supervisors

The Supervisor and Assistant Supervisor view the activity and wonder why they are banned yet again from the really fun things in life.

Filling "the pit" with gravel

John shovels the gravel out of the truck and wheelbarrows it to the back yard.
We could NOT have done this without him.

Measuring the gravel level

Boards set up on the sides at what will be the height of the patio allow us maintain a (hopefully) consistent level for the gravel base.

Monday, October 27, 2008

This thing was HEAVY

Ken and John unload the compactor/tamper rented from Home Depot. Unfortunately, the photographer had to go back to the nursery to pick up the sand and missed the actual tamping of the gravel, but she heard there were some moments of consternation when it was discovered that the machine doesn't go in reverse.

Picking up the sand and gravel

Back to the nursery for a load of sand. Note: it may say $19.95 per day on the truck, but don't let that fool you, they get ya on the mileage!

Adding the fabric layer

Landscape fabric is laid over the gravel layer before the sand is added. This keeps weeds in check and prevents the sand from sifting into the gravel.

"Screeding" the sand layer . . .

A screed is a board used to level the layer of sand so that the pavers will be square, level and at the right depth. A tricky process since we had to measure from the top down and the "top" didn't exist yet. This involved string, levels, tape measure, a Sharpie, lumber, a saw, hammer, nails, a brief appearance by a clear acrylic quilting ruler, duct tape, and assorted measurements (depth of gravel, depth of sand, thickness of pavers, length and width of the patio, and calculation of drainage slope per foot). Luckily one of us is very good at geometry and math.

Picking up pavers at Home Depot

The back of the truck sinks . . . a lot.

Laying the pavers

Ready for Spring 2009 ~ Visualize flowers and veggies!

The fishies say "Good Job"