As I mentioned in my last blog, I have been working on my mother’s paver patio. It was originally going to be 16 X 8 but we decided to expand to 20 X 8. An extra 32 square feet does not seem like a lot but after moving all the sod and dirt and bringing in the gravel it has added to the task. In the end the bigger patio will better suit her needs.
The project started on Monday and I have been working hard on it every day while still tending the junior high garden and doing a little with my business. I have built two paver patios and they turned out pretty well so I am confident this one will turn out well also. Will see.
The first step in the process is running string to determine the basic measurements of the patio and how much sod needs to be removed. An extra six inches of sod removal around the perimeter is needed to be able to place the edging on packed gravel and sand. I cut the sod out by hand and I hauled it all to my house to use in my composting process at a later time.
It took three truck loads to get it all moved. My mother lives in an HOA community which does not allow street parking. I have had to do quick unloads and loads to keep from getting towed. That has been a pain in the a@%. I have handled way too much sod this year.
After removing the sod I had to find the sprinkler lines to either cap them or move them from under where the patio will be. You never want to leave lines under a patio as they make break and wash out your patio. It is also easy to break the lines while compacting the soil, gravel and sand. Luckily the lines were easy to find and all I had to do was cut and cap two lines, I cut another line and installed an elbow which allowed me to move a head with poly pipe to it’s permanent location on the west side of the patio and I capped three other sprinklers that are no longer needed. I replaced the two edge sprinklers with 1/4 heads.
I then ran three strings across the patio from east to west to establish the basic measurements and slope of the patio. It is common practice to slope away from the house one inch for every three feet of slope. I sloped it a little under three inches.
Then the real fun started…..I purchased seventeen Home Depot five gallon buckets which I have filled seven times and driven them to my house for unload. I am running out of places in my yard to put this heavy clay soil. On my return trips I have stopped by Home Deport six or seven times so far buying bags of gravel (16/60 lb. bags of gravel each trip). I still have at least two more loads of gravel and a couple of sand in my future.
I finally got the majority of the dirt dug out and moved today. I still have about ten or so buckets of dirt I need to remove along the fence line tomorrow. Today I was able to accomplish the dirt removal, I leveled the grade and installed three of five paver guides (1X2 boards) placed at the height of the sand that you use as a guide to screen the sand to make the final grade. I will make three or more trips to Home Deport tomorrow for the rest of the gravel and the sand.
A couple of days ago I ordered the pavers from Lehi Block and they are being delivered sometime Tuesday. I need to get a lot done tomorrow to be ready to set the pavers when they arrive. Don’t know if I will be ready or not as I have to work at the school garden for a couple of hours tomorrow. It has been a very busy week with hardly any home gardening done. I did manage to purchase five chickens off KSL to replace my flock that was killed by the damn dog. That will be the topic of another blog.
The best thing about doing a job at your mother’s house is that she has kept me well fed and watered. She even bought my favorite beer. Can’t ask for much more than that. Stayed tuned for the final part of this paver adventure.