Patio – Stage 3

We have a patio base! I repeat, we have a patio base! I might be a little bit too optimistic, but I think we might actually finish off the patio within a month! I guess it will depend on how much work the pergola ends up being. It can’t be too hard, right?

Here is a reminder of our list. I can’t believe how close we are to getting everything crossed off!

  • Replace the sliding door and window
  • Add a metal water sealer around the edges of the house where the patio will meet it
  • Patch up any stucco
  • Paint the house (definitely hired out for that one)
  • Run a gas line from the main line to the future fire pit
  • Clear out the existing patio concrete around the edges
  • Form up the perimeter of the patio and the fire pit edges
  • Create the perimeter walls
  • Create the foundation for each pergola column
  • Fill in the patio with aggregate base (geez, I heard the engineer come out of me in that phrase)
  • Pour the concrete slab
  • Lay the stone
  • Build the pergola
  • Decorate (!)

First off, huge thank you to all of my cousins that got roped in to helping us out this past weekend. And my dad, of course. Could not have even gotten close to getting all of the concrete work done without you guys!

So let’s see. At the end of last weekend, we had completely filled up the patio space with rock and started framing out the area for the concrete. During the week, the hubby and I finished leveling out the patio so that we could start right away on Saturday morning.

Bright and early, my dad picked up a concrete mixer and brought it to the house. The max amount that it could hold was 1 cubic yard of concrete. So we only had to go get a refill once a day. Not too bad. And it was a nice break for our wheelbarrow folks. We started in the back left corner first. We stuck some foam-type edging along the perimeter of the house to allow the concrete to expand and contract. Other than that, we just poured and smoothed. While the guys were bringing in the concrete, my dad and I were using the forms to level everything out. I think it only took us about 45 minutes per cubic yard of concrete. I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t have to wheelbarrow at all, but I think the concrete was way easier than the rock. Could also have been that the weather was nice, and not blistering hot. Seemed easy and quick to me!

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Once we finished the back left corner, we started on the front right corner. We went diagonally so that once those corners dried, we could remove the forms easily and then use the existing concrete as our forms the next day. The only trickier part with the front corners was that we had to worry about our pergola posts. The hubby had gotten some steel brackets made at a local steel shop. He also picked up a scrap 6×6 cedar piece at a lumber shop to use as a guide. He strapped the brackets to the cedar using zip-ties, and then we were ready to set them in. As the guys were bringing in the concrete, the hubby and I set the brackets into their holes. While the concrete was still wet, we leveled out the brackets to make sure that they were perfect. There is no changing them once the concrete is set. And the brackets are beautiful!

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We tried to keep the pups on the lawn…at least they waited for it to be mostly dry

Sunday morning we poured the rest of the slab. It went super quick since we didn’t have to worry about the forms at all. The trickier part was forming the steps. The hubby used his perfectionist skills to make sure that they were both sized perfectly. Right down to the eighth of an inch. We poured two sets of steps. One right in the center leading to the yard, and a small one on the side leading to our future lower patio. Since the patio height is about 15 inches, the hubby decided we needed two steps for each set. That way the steps wouldn’t be at the max standard height. Instead of being 7 1/2 inches, the steps are 5 1/2 inches. Could be 5 1/4 inches. I don’t really remember, to be honest. After the steps were poured, we were done!

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Fire pit area!

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This week we are hoping to start getting the pavers on. It’s going to be so exciting!

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