Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Money Pit: The Side Patio Saga

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Side Patio.

Let me tell you, this part of the property has been a train wreck from the start.  First, it was covered with piles of dirt and junk from the flip that the previous owner did.  Not a really big deal, considering that the rest of the house was very well done.  But frustrating, nonetheless, when it became very apparent than I wasn't about to have aforementioned piles of dirt and junk actually STAY there.

Problem 1: Where was I supposed to put it?  Transporting dirt and junk from one side yard to another wasn't going to solve the problem.

Solution 1: I actually sifted through it.  That's right, I got down on my gloved hands and knees and went through aaaaaall the dirt, throwing away actual trash, salvaging rocks and bricks, and hefting the dirt that was left into a wheelbarrow to even out the opposite yard.

Problem 2: What was I going to put there instead?

Solution 2: Actually, this part has been pretty easy.  After growing up in a house where my father built walls and patios in our back yard only to knock them down and build new walls and patios when he ran out of room (long story, confusing childhood...but all true), I had a really good launching point.  Additionally, my father taught my husband how to do these same sort of patios at our last home, which ended up increasing the value of the place when we sold it. #highfives

PLUS, there were LITERALLY piles of bricks and pavers stacked up on the side of the house.  I'm guessing that the plan was to use them in the flip, but we ended up buying the house pre-market and it wasn't worth it to the guy to bother finishing the job.

Lucky me!

Problem 3: I have a dog.

Solution 3: There is no solution.  She sees me digging over there and she's all, "OOH, I CAN HELP WITH THAT," and every five seconds I'm chasing her away with a broom as she digs up the bricks I've only just lay down.  Because of course she does.

At any rate, I have been laying out these bricks and pavers and having a puzzle-y time of it.  The issue is ensuring that the space drains properly in the rain, but that's harder than it sounds.  Nothing a solid level can't figure out!  My goal is to connect the two already-paved areas together to make one patio that circumvents the house...and also make a nice little spot for me to set up a gardening and composting station with easy access to our trash bins.

More to come on this side patio as we go.

After the trash and bricks had been sorted out.
The pavers start to go down!  Notice the piles of them in the background?  There's an even LARGER pile of bricks behind me as I take the photo!

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