Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Patio Pergatory

If I can give you one piece of good advice about putting in a patio it would be HIRE SOMEONE ELSE to do it for you. This past weekend was absolute HELL! The very first day, the spouse's back went out. Mine wasn't faring much better as it never has. If the eldest son didn't show up with a small bucket loader we would have NEVER got the job done.

First as you recall I framed in the step the fill in the dip in the yard with the dirt we removed from the patio area. This is all well and good except it wasn't enough dirt. We still need another 6 to 8 yards of topsoil to level it out. I can hardly wait to have to do THAT job.

Saturday the eldest showed up with a skid steer that wouldn't fit through the side access with the bucket on so he had to drag the bucket in behind the tractor. That did a lovely job on the front lawn. But he did manage to move most of the dirt out of the patio area and that was a bonus. So we managed to get that framed and levelled and tamped. Then he moved the stone and the sand from the driveway to the entrance of the access so we wouldn't have to wheel barrow it all the way around the house. I still wasn't looking forward to that job.

Fortunately he showed up Sunday with a smaller bucket loader that DID fit though the access and he moved all the gravel and sand with that. That meant we now had both those layers tamped and levelled. I spray painted an outline of the patio on the grass so we could do a mock layout of the stone and it wasn't long before we realized we were NOT going to have enough stone to do the entire patio area.

Labour Day Monday and of course EVERYTHING is closed. But we drove around for 4 hours till we luckily found a one man landscape operation AND he actually had some flagstone AND he was willing to deliver it for a small fee THAT DAY! So we bought another HALF TON of flagstone. Oh lucky us.

That meant it was time to go back home and start moving the 1 1/2 TONS of flagstone into place BY HAND. There was only me and the spouse to do this part of the job and the fact we are not divorced means we either really love each other OR we both have incredible tolerance for AGONY.

We finished around 7:00 p.m. including tamping the stone down. We were both WHIPPED!

The last part of the job which hasn't been done yet is putting masonry sand in all the crevices. It rained today and is supposed to rain for the next few days. The patio has to be DRY before we can put the sand in. So I guess we get a rest. YAY!

Even with the help we had on Saturday and Sunday this job was way too big for two people in 3 days. If we hadn't had the machinery to move the dirt, gravel and sand there is NO WAY this job would be anywhere near done.

When it IS finally completed it will be a lovely addition to the yard. But in retrospect, I wouldn't do it again.


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