Sunday, October 27, 2013

Labor Day Weekend 2013- Operation Patio

While many people spend their Labor Day weekend shopping, vacationing or relaxing, it seems to have become a tradition at our house to spend it doing real hard labor. Last year's labor day weekend, with help from Kyle's family, we painted the playroom and put up a tree ring around the tree in our front yard.

This year: Operation Patio.

It started with 5 hours of loading and unloading 5 tons of gravel and 2 tons of sand.

The cheapest way to get the sand and gravel we needed ended up being to get it directly from the source. The place where the big construction semi-trucks go to fill up on material. We rented a Home Depot truck and Papa Hill and I spent a good part of the day getting what we needed. It was quite the experience. We had to drive in, weigh, drive down into a deep pit with huge mounds of varying degrees of sand and gravel, load up, and weigh again upon leaving. Us, in our little Home Depot truck, playing with the big boys- the big dirt hauling semi-trucks. The Home Depot truck only held 1.5 tons, so we had to make multiple trips to get enough for the patio. Thankfully, the truck was loaded up by a huge bulldozer. The 1.5 tons was barely anything in his big scoop. We felt a little silly getting so little, which also felt like so much! But, bringing it home, we had to unload it ourselves, shovelful by shovelful.

I forgot to take a before picture of what the yard looked like. (FYI, we very much neglected our backyard on purpose. We have the intent to kill the grass and completely start over. That is partially why our yard looks so horrible. The other part is because it really is just that horrible.) This is what I have. So...



Here is the in between:

It began with moving some sprinkler line.

And then busting up some concrete.

Hailey even did her own concrete busting.

Once the sprinkler line was all put back together, then the real work on the patio could begin. We started with a base layer of gravel.

And then it started to rain.

That didn't stop progress. So next we compacted the gravel with a plate compactor.

Once the gravel was compacted a layer of sand was laid down. And then the fun part- laying the brick.

After the all of the brick was in place, sand was swept over the brick and into the cracks to secure them in place.

All done! Now we just need a new deck, new grass and some patio furniture. Any guesses to what projects we have in mind come spring? :)


  1. I'm so impressed with your guys' DIY home improvement projects! Nice work!

  2. Wow! Talk about home improvement. Way to go!



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