Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Kitchen Update and Spring has Sprung!

Spring is in the air, so once all of the cupboards had been sanded and given a new coat of poly, we turned our attentions to the great outdoors. We'll come back to the kitchen later with new floors and countertops, but it could be years before we get those and a backsplash put in.

For now, here's our yard projects!

Let's begin with the patio. It's a big project. Basically, our yard consists of two lots and those two lots are "separated" by a small hill (1-3 foot at most). The pool runs along the edge of this hill. The issue we have with the yard is that our huskies LOVE to dig along this hill as well. The hill is directly out our back door and is trampled, so it's a great spot to get right into the dirt.

As you can see, it's a bit of a muddy mess. This is only a shot of one of the 5 giant holes that had been dug there. It was impossible to keep the girls out of this area, so we decided to add a retaining wall and build it up, covering it with patio stones.

First, we used the cinderblocks my Dad had purchased at a yard sale, and hubby had been toting in his truck for ages, to build the base of the wall. Then, we went to The Home Depot and picked out more cinder blocks. While we were there, some lovely ladies needed a truck load of pavers hauled to their home 6 miles away and gave us $25 to do the job. Hubby lifted and hauled, as I'm incapable at the moment, and we walked away with just enough cash to pay for the cinderblocks.

Funnily enough, that morning, hubby had hauled some other items for a friend and had been paid $30, so this was put into the paver glue and a larger paver for the end ($20). We still had the worry of what to put on top, but I called the local salvage store and they held some long pavers for us until we could get to them. This was a further $11. We ended up spending only $1 out of pocket on the wall.

Dad kindly invested in some lumber for the stairs and also purchased a paver cutting blade for the saw, so we were able to make a nice angle on the paver and cut extra pieces to fit where needed. This has come in extremely handy for the pavers on the actual floor of the patio. So, next the boys dug out the upper side of the yard to be able to match the lower side of the hill. This took a bit of doing but in the end it looked brill! I asked for the steps to span across the yard and be "inviting" into the upper area.

Next, in went the wood. I gathered 12 pavers I had in my garden and we used those as the preliminary look, then went to buy more pavers to match them once we were sure they were what we wanted. The pavers were $0.98 each at The Home Depot. They weren't great quality and I don't recommend them. Tamping them made some of them break. They just weren't made for this kind of thing, I don't think, but they were affordable and that's what counts.

See the big terra-cotta pot? FREE! Our neighbor is sadly moving away but she gave it to us. Dad picked up a magnolia for it, and we will leave it there until it's big enough to move into the ground. It smells wonderful.

Currently, we have an entire low patio section to fill, a triangle between the pavers and brick, and a triangle between the upper and lower levels. We're debating over more pavers, pea gravel or cement. I'll keep the blog posted.

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