Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Labor Day Weekend Laboring
A bit of a belated post this evening to recap the long weekend, which was filled with furniture shopping, tree/plant shopping, and working on the yard. All of this prep/planning work explains, in part, why there aren't very many pictures of actual work accompanying this post.
The furniture shopping part of the weekend entailed ordering a dining room table and chairs and - since I can't resist a sale - a patio table and outdoor chairs. Until fairly recently, we owned two dining room tables and two sets of dining chairs but, as so many people before us have discovered, marital compatibility does not always come with a similar design aesthetic. Brian has been tolerating my dining room furniture after selling his much nicer set on Craigslist but with a nearly complete dining room, it's time for mine to head off to Goodwill and new two-party approved furnishings to take the place. The Goodwill van comes next Saturday, which meant we needed to place an order this past weekend. Most of it should arrive sometime next week and there will be many pictures of the newly decorated room.
The tree/plant shopping was much easier than furniture shopping, thanks to a still well-stocked neighborhood garden center and some very nice end of season sale prices. Delivery tomorrow will consist of five good sized trees (some pictured above), a dozen buckets of grasses, and a handful of shrubs. We also brought home several perennial flowers. Since it's so close to the end of the season, we're focusing of getting the "bones" of the yard in - grass, trees, shrubs, etc. and we'll add more color with annuals next spring. So, we'll spend the next few evenings digging and planting and getting the plants happy and settled in their new homes.
When we finally stopped shopping and started working, we tackled installing the stairs to the patio. We hadn't really thought through the stairs scenario when we were installing the patio and had been somewhat vaguely thinking we would just install a single step on top of the existing pavers. Then we read up on the code and it turns out that for exterior swinging doors, you need at least a 36" landing, no more than 1.75" inches below the height of the interior floor. So all those pavers we installed right up to the exterior wall? Had to come out.
As it turns out, the new design is probably going to be a lot nicer and, happily, we had just enough wall block to construct a platform plus a stair but had we planned ahead, we could have saved ourselves a good bit of time and effort. Instead, we had to cut the pavers 48" out, remove the existing pavers (yes, the ones Brian just laid last week), and truck in many wheelbarrows full of (very heavy) gravel. With some advance planning, the bobcat could have made a few quick trips and we'd have had all the material we needed. Instead, it was back to the old shovel-wheelbarrow-shovel routine.
Nevertheless, we eventually got most of the platform and stair installed - and neither of us wants to see a wall block or a wheelbarrow full of gravel again for awhile. We're in a brief holding pattern now because we have to order some bullnose to cap the stones but that should be delivered this week and then we'll be able to finish the steps off next weekend. Lots of effort but every day gets us closer to a finished yard.