Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Brick Yard

As much as we love our new house, the one thing that has made this summer difficult is that we have no yard to enjoy. The dirt that surrounds the house is less than inviting and is something we've tried to train our children to avoid. That won't change too soon, as we are planning on seeding grass- but the one bright spot is that we are well on the way to having a completed brick patio in our back yard.

This is the stack of brick pavers that had to be torn up during construction. It's a painful site for the former owners who put their own sweat into creating pretty elaborate patterns in the walks and patio areas. It's also a painful site for Kevin, who neatly stacked them up and now is working at the unstacking. There are literally thousands of brick pavers in this stack. (We're only going to use about 1/3 for our large patio)

On Friday, the guys from CurbSide Landscape and Irrigation excavated the patio site. They laid down a root barrier sheet, then infilled with about 6" of crushed stone. They took a while to get this perfectly level using a surveyor's transit. Unfortunately, they were a bit short on the crushed stone, so they'll be back on Monday with the remainder.

Kevin ponders just how much work this would have been to do by hand......

We got a tip from the guys at CurbSide about setting the sand base. They suggested laying (2) 1" pipes down, infilling with sand, tamping it and then screeding it level using a 2x4. This technique worked pretty well and Kevin made a ton of progress on Saturday.

A rubber mallet is used to tap the bricks into place in the sand. Kevin used a (mostly)half basketweave pattern. See if you can spot where the pattern goes awry in this photo! We're not too worried about the occassional quirkiness of the pattern. It's a character-builder.

By Sunday, the entire family was helping (?) out.We should be complete with this project mid-week. After CurbSide delivers more crushed rock base, we'll be able to complete the patio area. CurbSide will then be working on the grading on the rest of the site, the installation of the rain garden and the hydro-seeding. Even though the seeding of the lawn won't provide a useable yard this year, at least we'll have a nice-looking patio from which to enjoy the outdoors.

No comments: