Demystification Guru

Just because we don't understand something, doesn't mean it isn't understandable.

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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Patio Extension Project

I'm glad I started early at the Home Depot. Since I rented a car to take Rockwell for the Big Snip, I am also using it to transport patio stones so I can make a little place for the BBQ. I figured I'd need 32 stones 1 by 1 foot plus several bags of crushed stone and some stone dust. Maybe some sand. But I went cheap on the rental and got a Toyota Yaris. It appears to have four cylinders but I only count three speeds as it revs down the highway. Third speed kicks in at about 40, so by 80kph it sounds like a piston is going to come through the hood.

With this tiny car, I am only taking 12 stones at a time plus a bag of gravel. I will need to make at least 3 trips. Now I have to unearth the wheelbarrow and unload the car and take things around back. Before I can go back to the HD. Good thing I wanted to do this project! If someone was making me, I think I'd be perturbed.

Later: The bag of crushed stone was 30 kilos and I could barely get it out of the car. I have now trundled 24 one foot square stones around to the back plus that bag of stone. I was going to get 32 big stones but now that I have done this much, I am thinking that 28 will be just fine. I didn't get a second bag of crushed stone on my second trip because there was no one around to help me load it onto my cart and into the car.

Later: Okay, I got two more bags of stone. At 30 kilos each, they are staying in the car until Peter gets home. And I got only four more one by one foot stones. I'm currently digging the sod away and making a shallow hole and wondering how big it really needs to be. Since we are going to need some stone dust to top it off just before the stones are laid and that means another trip to the Home Depot, I'll decide then how large it will finally be.

patio start
That's dog pee damage on the lawn - of course, not in the area I am digging up. Having dug up some of the spots, I can see that the roots are gone on those sections of the grass where he concentrated pee all winter. Tomato cages are on the right, the coiled wire of the weather station is on the fence, the 24 stones and a bag of gravel at the bottom of the photo.

patio middle
The hole has been dug (i.e., I have dug the hole) and now I have to figure out how much dirt should stay and then add the gravel and such before placing the stones on top. The stones will be sitting up fairly high on the grass side which actually matches the existing patio stones which were laid by “professionals”.

patio finish
Peter helped me with the rest of the work. Here we have the mostly finished patio pad for the BBQ. I spread some of the dirt over the pee-ruined area on the lawn and after the rain has stopped, I will put some grass seed on it and hope for the best. Tonight, Peter will be making the inaugural burgers.

Left to be done: Monitor the lawn-sod issues, spread more sand in the cracks as required, lift stones if necessary to balance them should they become loose.


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