Monday, March 28, 2011

Sometimes I wish we weren't so handy.

Because then we wouldn't have decided to take on the 2 day project of building our own patio. That eventually turned in to a 4 day project. And made my entire body hurt.

Wednesday afternoon Steve called me to tell me the good news! We could do our patio this weekend! Which is not entirely what I had wanted to do with my kind of 4 day weekend full of gorgeous weather. But we have been looking forward to doing this patio since my in-laws said they'd purchase it for us for our birthdays (which happen to be in the fall so we always knew we'd be waiting to the spring to actually do it). So Wednesday night we headed to Lowe's as soon as I got home to check out the pavers. We ended up deciding on what we wanted AND picking out some flowers for the front yard (which I went home and planted right away!!).

Thursday Steve and Sam were getting a head start and were digging up the ground where the patios were going to be. We were both doing patios so we were doing them together which was really nice. As it turned out it was really hard to dig by hand and that would have taken forever so Steve and Sam ran to Home Depot to rent a tiller. They got back and tilled up our yard and then headed to Sam's yard. Where they almost immediately found a huge ass rock. See, we live like on a mountain kind of and our ground is pretty much just shale rock. Which sucks. And usually we find it in small pieces, but this time? Not so lucky. We found a giant piece that ran the length of their house, which was subsequently the length of the patio. So the entire thing had to go.

They ran out to get a jack hammer so we could get that up and we spent pretty much all of Thursday digging up that rock. Luckily, we didn't encounter any rock in our backyard because that would have called for a change of plans in the patio (as in above ground, no digging required kind of patio haha). So Sam and I focused on digging up the much easier tilled dirt at my house while the boys focused on removing the rock. When we were done at my house we headed over to Sam's so we could have a little hope of going to bed at a reasonable time. We called it a night after almost a dozen wheelbarrow's full of rock from Sam's yard and digging out our yard.

Friday afternoon after I got off work Sam and I ran to pick up a truck so we could go to Lowe's and pick up the sand (102 bags!) we needed for the patio. The boys ended up meeting us there because they had to pick up the supplies for Sam's stairs and because all the sand wouldn't fit in our truck. After everything was all loaded we headed back home to unload it. Which was not really all that easy because as it turns out one of those palates weighed like a ton. Like literally a TON. As in 2,000 pounds. And we got a palate and a half. Needless to say our arms were tired!

After we got the sand unloaded the boys took off back to Lowe's to pick up the pavers. While they were gone Sam and I got busy trying to dig up the remains of the dirt and then fill in the giant ass hole that we had to dig up from Sam's yard. About the time we were finished with that the boys got back and we had the pleasure of unloading 2 palates of pavers (and remember 1 palate = one freaking ton). So at this point now we've lifted over 3 tons of stuff knowing that tomorrow we had to get 1 more palate of pavers AND THEN we'd have to move them to where they were supposed to go.

After we got all of that unloaded the boys started to frame out the patio. Up until this point we'd done a lot of work and you couldn't really see it so it felt like we were getting no where. Once the boys had the frame put up you could actually see the progress and see how far we had come. And then we called it a night because we'd been working since 3:30 in the afternoon and it was midnight and we were tired and achy and we had an early day in front of us.

Saturday the boys got up before the sun to head back to Lowe's to pick up the rest of the pavers. Sam and I did not do any work until they got back. In fact, we were still sleeping until they were picking up breakfast haha. We did not immediately unload the pavers because we were hoping to be able to take them from the truck and put them on patio where they belonged instead of moving them off the truck and then moving them again.

Unfortunately, our day did not go as planned. Sam and I got right to work and busted our ass to get the tarps laid and the sand spread on our yard while the boys worked on the stairs at Sam's house. We had asked them to put up the border of the patio at Sam's so that once we were done at our house we could just go right over there and do the same at her house. Good plan right? Except, they totally underestimated our speed and DID NOT lay the border and WOULD NOT lay it until they were done. Which took THREE freaking HOURS. So Sam and I just sat around and were useless because the boys were too slow (this was also the point that Sam and I decided the next time we did a project that the two of us would do it without the boys help haha).

After the boys finished the steps they decided we needed to purchase MORE sand. As in THE SAME AMOUNT that we already had. Sam and I tried to tell them that would be too much, but they would not listen. Ah well. So while they were going to get the sand we got all the sand spread at Sam's and then waited for them to get back. We unloaded more sand (my poor arms!) and spread got the patios filled with enough sand so that when we laid the pavers they would be level with the borders (the moral? we dug too deep. thanks honey for those instructions lol).

After we got the sand all spread we could FINALLY lay the pavers. At like 10:00 Saturday. Which was WAY past the time we thought we'd be finished (we were hoping for dinner on the patio. No such luck.)

And this was past the point of me having a meltdown and calling my mommy because we weren't done and now Steve was trying to get out of going to see my brother because his stupid project was taking way longer than he had expected. I was not a happy camper. And my feelings were being incredibly hurt. And my dad decided he'd come to my rescue and volunteer to come out on Sunday to work while we were with my brother.

And my dad? HE KICKS ASS. He rocked out the pavers (thanks to 40 or so years doing this kind of work, which isn't to say that in a few years Steve will have the experience to know easier ways to do things, but this weekend he was lacking that experience but he did do an excellent job and we all learned a lot!). By the time we got home from George he'd practically done the entire patio and all we had to do was 2 small rows. And then help Todd finish up his because he doesn't have 40 years of experience to fall back on so he was a little slower (but a lot more level lol) than my dad!

While the boys finished up the pavers on both yards I took the job of sweeping sand in to the cracks of the pavers. We got everything all done with the exception of the pavers that needed to be cut, but it looked SO AWESOME and we were so happy it was finally done.

I cannot wait to be outside all summer long enjoying our patio! and the fire pit we plan to build (of course, we plan to build that once we forget how hard this was hahaha).


  1. Love that title, because I have the hardest time paying somebody for something that I can do! I'd rather save the money to spend on shoes!

  2. Yeah I have a really hard time paying someone to do something that I can do & that my husband does for a living!