Thoughts on patios.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sorry, again.  Yeah, it's been a rough long week with this chemo affecting Hailey's rear end.  Last night was the first night in about a week where we weren't rushing for the door starting at 2 a.m.  Poor girl.  She finally made it through a whole night which was great for everyone.  It helps that I picked up a probiotic on Saturday plus we went to the vet hospital yesterday where they gave us some medicine to help stop the uh, draining.  We go back there again today for a blood test, lucky Hailey (not), so I'll be sure to discuss this issue with Dr. H. if I get to see him.

So there was lots of discussion this weekend about what to do with our terribly sad back yard.  Mike is feeling an inordinate nag and itch to get things fixed up and at least functioning back there.  And, as always, I'm trying to figure out how to make it nice in the most cost efficient manner since that's what I'm trained to do.  Poor guy, every time we talk about the yard, it's "well, we need to do this too," and "what about this issue that needs addressing on top of it all too."  He ends up looking overwhelmed and defeated and then the subject gets changed.

It's a chilly rainy day here in Chicago (and what what, who is talking about snow?!  That's...I can't....No.) but here are a couple of photos of how awful it is.  And trust me, this is actually better than it was when we first got it, if you can believe it.

Embarrassingly awful, this yard, huh?  Told ya it was worse than those "befores" on those TV shows.  You didn't believe me, did ya?  Secretly I keep hoping I run into one of those TV hosts at the hardware store and they come and magically transform our yard for us....Ah well.

Pretty destitute, this yard, and clearly we aren't helping the situation by strewing tables and folding chairs all about either.  Plus we're using our free from the city rain barrel as a gangway blocker so Hailey doesn't go up to the gate leading to the front yard and bark at everything going by.  It was only just Saturday that I was able to yank the last chair cushion off the last remnants of ice on the ground.

(If you live in Chicago and own your home, if you have not signed up with Meter Save, you must do it today.  We're saving between 75-80% on our water bill by installing this free meter.  No joke.  You get a free rain barrel.  Or other things.)

As you can see in the first photo, the steps into the garage are a big problem.  I did do some measuring and as it turns out, Menards has pressure treated stringers on sale this week so I may go pick up two of those.  I realized I have to figure out how to get a ledger board or something into the concrete of the garage in order to anchor the new steps.  Don't have the right tools I'm sure.

In the second photo, over by where everything is piled up on the right is where Mike would like to put in a patio of some sort until we can afford a deck (which he wants to attach to the garage).

I would love this which for us wouldn't be too much of a stretch as my parents live on a wooded lot so we could pilfer branches and logs from them.  The only issue is commandeering the correct tool(s) to cut it all.  Plus it's pretty, temporary, easily moved, and very inexpensive.  Plus I could move some of the pieces to the front yard when it comes deck time.

There was also this circular wood deck that was kind of neat, but it would require more time, effort, and expense.  The nice part is that it's raised.  We do have the tools to get this one done.

I also read a snippet of a forum where folks were talking about using broken concrete pieces to assemble into a patio.  Since we need to take out that pathetic little walkway, I thought that might be a good way to reuse, recycle and not have to figure out how to dispose of concrete chunks.

I also saw lots of pallet deck ideas and while I'm not hugely on that "pallet everything," it seemed like it could be a viable, easy option.

In the end, I'm not sure if Mike saw any of the emails I sent him with these ideas and it sounds like he just wants to get some paver blocks and drop them in.  Not that he's not a creative guy, because he is and always has great ideas about design, but I think a straightforward patio is about all he has tolerance for here.  He just wants it to be done already.  So, we'll see.


  1. That yard is a challenge! Would you consider re-sodding part of it?

    1. It's is indeed a constant challenge -- you nailed it in the head. We have but either seasonal timing was wrong, the bank account was wrong, or timing on effort was off. So heh, lots of off confluences.


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