Back in May, I shared some patio plans with you. The heat this summer was unbearable, so we are finally getting around to some outdoor projects. Let me start by telling you how sore we both are. I think part of the reason we put it off for so long was because we knew it would be labor intensive. Last year we completed a garden wall in the front of our house. We have made an executive decision that it was the hardest project to date... let's hope the patio doesn't top that.
This is what we have been living with for 2+ years. There are two slabs of concrete, a rotted staircase and no privacy. See that pile of pavers behind the shovels? There are 105 16x16 pavers that will be used to complete our project. First thing that needed to be done was to rip out the bush on the left.
Why not use the Jeep? We didn't want to make more work for ourselves :) You can see in the pictures that there is a spray painted line around our existing patio. We are adding four feet all the way around (3 pavers deep) which in the end, will add 180 sq ft total. Not too shabby.
The plan was to rent a sod cutter to slice through the grass and then roll it up. The guy at the tool rental place advised us against it. He said the machine was extremely heavy, expensive and the sod itself is very heavy once rolled. We opted for the tiller which was way cheaper. We picked it up Saturday at noon and kept it all weekend for a one day price. Sounds like a good deal.
Greg had to rig a strap from the machine to his waist because the force of the machine kept pulling him. It worked out a lot easier, but he ended up with some bruised hips. After he tilled a large section, we got to work shoveling the dirt/grass/rocks into a wheelbarrow.
Day one we were out there for about two and a half hours and got the long side of the patio complete. We needed to rest our bodies in preparation for the rest. Our back, shoulders, abs and legs were burning. It may not look like we got a lot done, but we felt very accomplished. We showered and treated ourselves to a nice steak dinner :)
Day two. We knew the plan and everything went smoothly. We worked quicker because we just wanted to be done. We tilled the two short sides of the patio and again, shoveled all the dirt out of the way.
Here is a collection of rocks we found while digging. They are not just little stones.. they are massive. No wonder our grass has a hard time growing...
Oh, you were probably wondering where our multiple wheelbarrow trips went...
By multiple, I mean there were probably 50+ trips back and forth. We want to add a garden bed in the back corner and figured we needed some dirt. In the fall, we will also add some dirt to our existing garden beds that have got compacted down from the weather. Until then, hopefully our neighbors don't hate us.
Here is the current progress. We have a hole dug all the way around about 4 feet wide by 4 inches deep. Some areas are too high/low so we need to adjust accordingly. We are just happy to be returning the tiller and moving on to the next stage: crushed limestone for the paver base.
Hopefully we will work on it this weekend and have more updates for you!