Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

It’s patio-building season again and, as you can probably guess, we’ve been hard at work. You may recall that, as of the end of patio season last year, we were done digging out the area and built 80% of the wall.

RetainingWall8-25-12

After the cold, hard winter, our patio looked a little worse for the wear (so.many.leaves).  But we cleaned up and got back to work.  Here’s how it looks now:

Patio-May2013

Since this is the third year we have spent on this patio, we are ready for it to be done already (how is it not done yet???).  We’ve been moving full speed ahead on the project this spring:

  • We finished the last 20% of the wall.  That said, we haven’t capped the wall yet because we want to see how the different options look with the finished patio.
  • We installed the built-in light fixtures.  This was a nightmare because our Home Depot stopped selling the sconces we used for the first half of the wall, but fortunately we found them at another store.  Phew.
  • We set the first level of the stairs.  We won’t build the stairs up until the flagstone is installed, because we don’t know the right height of the steps until we know how deep the flagstone will be.
  • We picked out the flagstone we want to use!  We are going to use a traditional looking flagstone with natural features that will blend well with the extisting flagstone.  Each flagstone has different heights, which is a going to be annoying during install.  But it’s cheaper and looks much more natural and interesting than the “thermal” flagstone which looks more manufactured.

Patio-May2013whighlights

Progress!  But the title of this post is Two Steps Forward, One Step Back.  So, what’s the one step back?

We pulled up all the flagstone that was already down.  (Gasp!)

You are probably asking yourself why we would do that?!  Well, we wanted to re-grade the whole area.  The backyard gets a lot of water run-off, especially during big storms.  The run-off has been known to puddle near the house although it drains pretty quickly once the rain is over.  We want to route it away from the foundation to avoid any water trouble.

OldPatio-May2013

So our next step is to stake out the area.  (You may recall that we had to stake out the area to figure out how deep to build the wall, but those stakes are long gone.)  Then, and know that we are not looking forward to this, we have to dig again.  We will level out the area before ordering the sand and stone.

We’re getting there!!

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