Progress is being made…….but the hard work has not lessened yet. Yesterday morning I stopped at Home Depot (like every morning lately), to pick up another load of gravel but this time I was in need of sand as the pavers were going to be delivered. I loaded up the truck and headed over to my mom’s where I found the delivery driver already unloading the two pallets of pavers. I ordered 343 (10.5 x5.5 inch) pavers and 248 of the (55×5.5) pavers. I also received edging and spikes that I did not remember ordering but thought they must come with the order. I found out today when the driver returned that they were not part of my order. I explained to him how handy the delivery had been and that I had already installed about half of the edging. After a couple of calls to the boss my good fortune turned into another $140 purchase. Oh well….it was a handy delivery and just the right quantity.
Carrying close to 600 pavers from the street to the backyard took awhile along with the 20 bags of gravel and sand that I brought. I took a little break and again was well fed by mom. This week has been a hot one and I think I have sweated out as much as I could drink. Pretty graphic picture but so true I’m afraid. Now having some sand I started pounding the the area where I laid the first line of pavers running in front of the porch step.
Other than lining up, leveling and squaring the patio, the most important aspect of a successful paver project is ensuring the four inches of gravel and one inch of sand is properly compacted and smooth. I had previously installed and leveled five 1×2 boards every five feet which act as my screen guide. I use a straight 2×4 to scrape the sand smooth after I have used the hand tamper several times over the area. One can only smooth a three or four foot section at a time as you cannot walk on the sand once laid down. The first course of pavers took awhile as I lined up and relined up everything and installed the border on the west end.
I then pounded the gravel and sand and screened it smooth to install the border. Laying pavers usually goes from right to left so that border was the first order of business. The other edges can go in later but one must always check for square and make sure the patio is level across, with the rows lined up, and the grade running true (one inch drop for every three feet) away from the house foundation.
I then continued laying down gravel, sand which I pounded and screened. I got quite a bit done before mom had another hearty dinner ready which ended my work day. I did make another trip to Home Depot for edging for the bottom of the patio to hold the gravel and sand in place for the last layers.
Today I again started the day at Home Depot for another load of sand and gravel…..hopefully tomorrow will be the last trip for these items. I continued to put down more gravel and sand which I continued to pound down and screen.
I finished four and a half feet with three and a half to go. Tomorrow I will frame in the bottom and hopefully get all the pavers in place. Then I will dig out the dirt against the fence and lay down weed block and river rock. All in all the patio is coming along well. Hopefully there will only need to be a part 3 to this paver blog but will have to see.
Now a few random thoughts. For the last few days I have walked by my wood pile and heard loud chewing type sounds. I have stopped and listened and when I started to investigate the noise would stop. I’m sure any neighbors watching me were wondering what the hell I was doing and at first I thought it must be my imagination but I kept hearing the sounds. I decided it must be termites so I ran to Home Depot to buy termite killer. I did not have time to use it last night as I figured I would have time tonight to exterminate. Before spraying I decided to again be a “wood whisperer” and sit and listen. The sounds kept on coming so before spraying I decided I wanted to see the critters first hand as I have never seen a termite in Utah. I pulled the bark away from several noisy pieces of wood and to my surprise they were white grubs. They must be the grubs of the pine beetle that are killing our forests. They look like fishing grubs but have a firmer body. They must have strong teeth to make that much noise and saw dust chewing and tunneling through the wood. The new chickens liked them.
Lastly, the secretary at the junior high brought me some blackberries from her one year old patch. She says they have produced gallons of berries. I have raspberries but no blackberries yet. I think I am going to have to find some room for them……they were delicious.