With it being officially summer and all now, we’ve got some pretty grand plans for some of our outdoor space and this weekend we finally pulled the trigger on our patio makeover. And when I say “patio” I use that term very loosely because in all reality, it was just a slab of concrete and some weeds growing in the corner. It wasn’t very pleasant. As you can see here:
Pretty pathetic looking, am I right? We’ve used it a handful of times this year for grilling, and even enjoyed some dinners alfresco before the weeds completely took over, but beyond that, it’s pretty non-existent back there.
We have never put in pavers before, we had no idea what the heck we were getting ourselves into. So, we recruited someone with much more experience with this sort of thing, my dad. He took us to Home Depot and helped us pick out what we would need and how much of it we needed. And he has a truck. Which is like a triple word score in our book….
One extremely weighed down truck ride later, we got to work. And on one of the hottest days of the year thus far, we started to think we had bitten off more than we could chew.
The space we had to dig was only about 50 square feet or so, but it was THE most time consuming part of the day. I had started to thank my lucky stars that we had never tried to put a garden in back there because it never would have worked. The ground was almost all clay and covered with rocks. And if you’ve tried to dig in a clay + tons of rock + construction debris, you know it’s not easy. My dad put it perfectly, saying it was like trying to dig in concrete. It was bad.
It took us nearly six hours to clear out that small space. SIX. HOURS. in the heat and humidity of a summer’s day. Needless to say, we were all drenched by the end of the digging extravaganza.
With the digging part finally over, we got to laying some weed barrier down, to you know, prevent weeds from growing between our lovely pavers.
And when I say we, I mean my husband and father… because I escaped to the AC to start dinner for the hard workers!
They then added paver rocks for the foundation of our patio expansion, to help with drainage.
And paver sand to level and hold the pavers in place.
Using a rubber mallet, Dad and Josh were able to level of and secure the rather large pavers in place. And when I say rather large, I’m not kidding around. I think these things weighed as much as I do. The pavers we went with are 16″x16″ and 2″ deep of solid concrete. They were are heavy. The beast of all pavers.
Luckily, the guys were up to the challenge. But it was hard, hard work. Before you knew it, we were out of daylight. Dad and Josh both worked up until 10:00pm that night, trying to get as much done as possible, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
A few of the pavers need to be straightened out a little before we keep going, but for right now, after a full eight hours of work on the patio, we are starting to see our finish line.
Our patio still looks like a construction zone, and we are more than a little bit sore, but we can’t wait to see the finished product! With a little more elbow grease, hopefully we’ll have this sucker knocked out in time for Thursday’s post… only time will tell!
What summer projects have you all been tackling? Anything that took longer than you thought it would? We had no idea taking on this project would take so long, mostly because we didn’t realize that we would spend so much time digging. You live and you learn, right? Still, I can’t wait to host a summer cook out on our new patio! It will be lovely!
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