Whoops. Sorry to leave you on such a cliff hanger only to find my way back here slightly shy of a month later… I had mediocre intentions and then we went on a two week vacation and, well, we are living up to the promise of making things take forever. Even the part where other people did all the labor and I am just supposed to document it. Now I leave you with no doubts on just how long we can drag projects out.
As a side note if you are wondering if you should visit the Pacific Northwest:
I mean, I’d say if you hate all things pretty and the outdoors, I’d skip it. But, if that doesn’t describe you, you’ll probably love it.
Now back to the patio! If you completely forgot what the backyard looked like before, or what the first few days of work looked like you can check that out here.
Day 4 got us one more stone step and some more height on the retaining walls.
Day 5: We got our 5th and final stone step and the brick pavers made it into the backyard! A big part of the work done was grading our backyard so when it rains or someone dumps a kiddie pool out, the water doesn’t all rush into the sun room (sounds oddly specific… ). That is one of the major reasons we were happy to hire it out and make sure everything was done right.
For anyone local the company was Brandt Pavers. The guy that quoted us also does the work and was very approachable with anything we asked about. He had a main guy who worked with him and a handful of teenagers for manual labor. Teenagers are good for that kind of thing, just ask my brother Dave. When he was a strapping lad, all we had to do was say “Hey Dave, I bet you can’t_______” and Dave would jump all over it. Sometimes it was useful things like move that wicked heavy rock, other times it was just for pure enjoyment, telling him that his little brother just did some insane number of pull-ups and that we bet he couldn’t beat him. Dave would dig deep and nearly always managed to prove us wrong, though he must have known his little brother who wore husky pants and was adverse to most forms of activity would never have managed 20+ pull-ups, but, and I’m circling back to my point now, teenagers: lots of energy and a high need to prove themselves = excellent manual labor.
And circling all the way back, we would totally recommend the guy who did the patio. Our next door neighbors got a quote for a retaining wall in their backyard from them, while they were working on our backyard. Which was a fantastic turn of events, because it lead to my neighbor showing me all around her house. Does anyone else love a good house tour? There is something so fascinating to me about seeing inside people’s houses. I love to see the layout, how they decorate, how they may also hate cleaning… We have been neighbors for six years and have always been friendly, but never really much more than a “Hiya neighbor” or the occasional help with snow removal or them asking “did you really mean to leave your garage door open last night?”. It might be because they are our parent’s age, but regardless I was cheesed. I promised I’d show them around when our patio was done. Still need to get on that, kinda seems like it would require some cleaning…
Day 6/7: It was kinda rainy on what they had hoped would be the final day, so it got a touch muddy, but they laid most of the pavers and just had to finish a few brick edges and add the special sand on top that keeps everything in place on the final day.
And what does it look like now?
Here is the view from the sun room:
These two pictures below are of the largest part of the patio, where we will have some kind of seating and eventually build our pergola overhead. If you notice the holes, that is where the pergola will attach to the footings. My gem of a brother, pointed out to me that it is already not square, luckily for us, we knew we had no real shot at square, it just takes too much precision and want-to.
Here is a look at it from another angle. I know my father-in-law was concerned from my Paint rendering that there would be no grass in the backyard, despite my explanations that drawing to scale means nothing to me.
The funny thing is we can now sit on our patio and look out onto the great dirt flats. Except it is already turning into the great weed propagator flats. Weeds are tricky like that. No need to plant, they just arrive. Now if only I could convince the Japanese beetles to only eat the weeds…
We had some friends over for dinner last night and I was feeling inspired to make the space more usable and pretty in the interim. So I conned Brett into some twinkle lights and we pulled out the sawhorses, threw some plywood on top to make a functional table, and added some pretties.
Can’t complain at all.
I’ll walk you though next time our plans for finishing off the space. But for now our bank account needs a breather and let’s be honest we aren’t building that pergola anytime soon…