Doing it up patio style! Patio days are here!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Oh yeah, that's sore.  And oh, ache.  Ouch, sunburnt shoulder.  Yep.

We put in the patio yesterday!  Woo hoooo!  I am elated!  As you may recall, our backyard is umm, pretty awful.  Worse than the "befores" on those yard fix-'em-up TV shows.

Lucky for me it was Mother's Day, so I was served a tasty Mike-made breakfast in bed and got some cuddle time in with my girl.  :)  Laziness was not long lived though.  :(

This isn't going to be a how-to, folks, sorry.  We're not experts on this.  There are far better places on the internet to find patio how-to's than here, that's for sure.  Hopefully it'll be an entertaining story of how we didn't kill each other though!

Bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and filled with optimism, Mike first up destroyed the sidewalk area.  And by destroyed, I mean destroyed.  I was suitably impressed.  Considering the day prior I tried to give it a few whacks with the sledgehammer (thanks Dad for the sledgehammer all those years ago!) and nothing happened.  Well, ok, c'mon, I'm nowhere near as strong as Mike.  But I was pleased that it broke up so easily.

breaking up concrete walk

And so was the impetus for my first run to the store of the day.  I was sent on a mission to get a wheelbarrow from Menards.  We still haven't figured out what to do with the broken up concrete but at least with the wheelbarrow we were able to move it all out of the way.  Rock garden perhaps?  Heh.  I guess I hadn't need worry about getting that wheelbarrow into the Rabbit.

trunk full of Menards run

While I was at the store, I picked up a few extra supplies.  They were on a rebate sale meaning I'll get the purchase price back as a store credit.  Sweet.  I'm trying to save up the credits to put a dent in a ladder purchase so I can paint the stairway walls and get on the roof.

coozie from Menards

Yes.  Menards coozies!  Darn autocorrect changed it to doozie four times before I had to manually correct the autocorrect.  Silliness.

By the time I got back from Menards (and I didn't dilly dally), Mike had torn up the area we were turning into our fabulous patio.  I couldn't believe it.  He was a bit cross-eyed and woozy, but still standing which is important.

turning over dirt for patio

As soon as I got back that's when Mike said, hey, glad you're back, we should go rent a rototiller right now.  Well ok.  All right.  Back in the car.  Unfortunately Menards doesn't have one so we went to Home Depot.  Boy, that thing made quick work of the yard.  Suitably impressed again.

rented rototiller

We thought hey cool, this thing will work out well when we go to sod the yard!  (More on that later.)

It was suddenly quite hot out while I was trying to put together the wheelbarrow and Hailey was barking like a mad dog at the neighbors with all her tripedal might.  Mike took over assembly since I was now cranky.

Mike assembling wheelbarrow while Hailey watches

Although, huh, here she is quietly overseeing and managing her dad's handiwork from afar while peacefully resting in the shade.  Now you don't believe me, do you?  Hmph.

Since we were on a four hour rototiller rental, we thought it best to take the weighty thing back sooner rather than later.  Back in the car we go!  We were both thinking, are ever going to get this done?!  Or at least I know I was thinking that.

After returning the rototiller and stopping for a spot of lunch, we returned home and started spreading out the paver base.  We were getting excited to see progress actually happening and the patio at the end of the tunnel.

And then.................

throwing down paver base

Oh crap.  Sh*t.  You're kidding me.  Not enough paver base?!  Uuuugggghhh!!  We just got back from being out!  Oy, dear me.  Really?!  That was a face rubbing, walk away frustrated moment.

All right, fine, so it is.  "What do you want to do, babe," he asked.  Two options:  a.) give up now and finish it all later or b.) just get in the darn car again, get what we need and finish today.  We went with option b even though now we were both weary.  We checked and rechecked and rethought and triple checked before we left Menards again to make sure we had everything.

Fast forward a bit and the leveling sand is down.  (What the difference is between leveling sand and regular sand, I dunno, couldn't tell ya.)  The edgings are in and then the Yorkstone wet cast paver blocks are going down.  We're finally cruising along.

sand atop paver base and adding pavers

Are we doing all this in the truly proper way?  Probably not.  Did we spike in some strings to keep things straight and accurate and measured?  Nah.  Are we checking for level?  Nope.  I have a pretty good eye for level, so Mike deferred to me and we kept plowing ahead.  Thunderstorms were on the radar now.  Like for real, real ones, not a metaphor, heh.

brushing in paver lock

Got that paver lock sand down, brushed it around.  Discovered oh, we overbought on that.  Oh well.  (By the way, be careful when you're dumping that stuff out of the bag.  Whooie, a big poofy cloud of fine dust you shouldn't breathe in.)

spraying down paver lock

Spray that puppy with some water to activate lock part of the sand and YAY!!  PATIO!!!

finished patio

Thrilled.  Ecstatic!  I mean, words elude me.  Seriously.  So fantastic.  And hey, my cutie little planter pouches look so sweet next to it, don't they?!  Right now it looks like paver blocks on a beach, but it's so five star.


Menards coozies with celebratory beverages

Ha!  Funny, right?  I love Menards.  (Obviously, huh?)

We finally plopped down, sat for a breather and that's when Mike said, "get quotes on having someone put the sod in for us, I don't wanna do it now.  That patio killed me."

We saw the lightning off in the distance so we quickly hacked up the downspout and installed our free rain barrel from the city for installing their Meter Save meter.  

We never got to sit on our new patio because the rain starting pouring down.  Big sad face!  But big happy face, we got it done!

So I guess next up I get quotes to have someone rip out the rest of the sidewalk, till the whole yard, and install sod.  I fear that will be pricier than Mike anticipates.  

I also still haven't done anything about the steps into the garage.  I really need to, but I haven't quite figured out how to anchor them into the garage concrete without a hammer drill.  Research time on my options.

Plus I have these fantastic chairs I love sooooo much that Mike wants to toss. He hates them.  "They're too low and uncomfortable," he says.  They need some minor welding repair in the seats; a few of the seat straps have sprung loose.  I've had these chairs forever, that my family and I found for free one day after leaving a restaurant in Northbrook.  Love these chairs.  I have to find a way to win him over.

So that's our patio story!  I can't wait to sit out there after having stuffed ourselves full of a tasty grilled dinner, hang out with a nice fire going in the fire pit, Hailey napping nearby on her fancy picnic blanket.  Sounds pretty picture perfect doesn't it?

Cannot wait.


  1. Something for your next inspiration ...

    I.P. RUMOV

  2. The stone is great! Thanks for the link!


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