27th Year Challenge: Month No. 3

While October is nearly over, it didn’t pass without me crossing off another item on my list of things to do in this 27th year of life.  A couple of weeks ago my dad came to help us with our new patio.  I will have more updates (it is completely finished now and totally gorgeous) but this is a quick post about what we did to prep for the patio.

Before my dad arrived, we had already torn out all the concrete from the existing patio and had started to till the dirt where the patio was going.  We thought we had made good progress.  Until my dad arrived.

At 8:00 am my dad rolled up and told us we had to dig up the sod where we were going to pour.  That required shoveling 4″ of dirt out of the soon-to-be patio.  The new patio measures about 14’x23′ so that was a lot of shoveling.  Once we had shoveled it out, we had to level all the dirt so it was a pretty consistent depth throughout.

While Chase and I dug up sod, my dad started forming the patio.  Don’t ask me to fully explain how he did this.  Basically, he put boards around the perimeter where the porch was going to be straight.  He sloped the boards so the porch would have a 2 inch slope.  This means that the height of the end of the porch is two inches lower than the height of the porch by the house.  This ensures that water runs off the porch and away from our house without being overly sloped causing everything to roll off the porch.

For the curved portions of the porch, he used luan which he then screwed to the boards and used stakes to help it keep its shape.

Once the forming was done, he ran another board from one side of the porch to the other.  From this we could measure the distance from the board to the ground so we could make sure the grade in the ground was consistent.

Then Chase and my dad went to McCarty’s – our favorite place to get dirt, rock, and mulch.  Total, we picked up one cubic yard of #53 rock.  This weighed about 2700 pounds.  #53 was a mixture of lime and fairly small rocks which is perfect to pack down before pouring concrete.  We then spread the rock until there were four inches from the top of the rock to the bottom of the board.

Then I basically stomped all over the rock to pack it down.  Then we removed the luan so it wouldn’t get wet (the stakes were in place so we will know exactly where to put it back when we pour), and we started spraying the rock with water so that everything would pack down.

Then dad drilled holes into the foundation and ran rebar into the holes.  He and Chase then created a sort of grid throughout the entire area where the patio would be and then wired the rebar together so nothing would shift.  The rebar helps give the concrete better stability, and running it into the house keeps it from sinking by the house which my dad tells me is the place most likely to sink.

At the end of about 5 hours, we were exhausted.  I have a crazy amount of respect for my dad who does this kind of physical labor everyday.  There is no way I could do it.  My wrists, back, feet, and legs all hurt and I had to take a nap.  I don’t know how he does it, but I’m so glad to have had his help, guidance, and expertise.  There was no way in the world we could have done this without him.

So with the patio complete, here’s where I stand on my challenge:

  • Print some family pictures from Mexico and modge podge them onto canvas or wood or something!
  • Buy barstools for our kitchen.
  • Level the light in the kitchen (which you haven’t seen yet) and paint the ceiling where the old light was.
  • Submit plans for a new patio.
  • Pour new patio.
  • Buy and hang curtains over our back doors (please send me suggestions…I can’t make up my mind!).
  • Pick out fabric and upholster chairs from my grandmother (also need suggestions).
  • Build a console table for our entryway.
  • Make or hang some art in our office.
  • Find a new light fixture for the eat-in-kitchen.
  • Upholster a headboard for the master bedroom.
  • Make/Buy and hang curtains in the master bedroom.

One thought on “27th Year Challenge: Month No. 3

  1. Pingback: Let it pour | twolawyersoneroof

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