Sunday, June 19, 2011

Backyard Progress-part 1

Over the last few weeks, our yard and house have undergone some big changes, and although at times it has been a little overwhelming...see last week's post, I can finally say...there is a light at the end of the tunnel!!

My husband (who is currently snoozing on the sofa next to me;) has been so diligently working, while I, his pregnant cheerleader, have been watching and cheering.

So are you ready for this?

Here we go...week one, our backyard looked like this:

See that tall ugly chimney there? it was for an old stove in the kitchen that had been removed years ago. It was old, stained, ugly, and ready to that was the first thing Mike removed...

Ahhh...much better, huh? What about the missing siding you might ask? we are going to be residing the WHOLE HOUSE in a few weeks!! woohoo! no more ugly blue siding!! I think I will do a little victory dance when it's gone..hehe...

Week two, scroll back up and note those two trees near the back door...
While they provided nice shade for the yard, they also provided some unwanted thick roots headed right for the foundation of the house, and tiny whirly-gigs that sprouted baby maples everywhere they landed (aka. maple trees in the know the ones;)

So, alas, they had to go as well...

Oh, and I should mention...the day they went was also the day the skid-loader and two truckloads of stone arrived (thanks dad;)

and..look closely at the roof, specifically behind the machine...see all those tools and things? yah, those are roofing materials, because in the middle of all this Mike found time to re-shingle the whole roof with help from some amazing friends (thanks Ben, Dan, and Chris!) this picture, all that was left to do was the overhang that you see behind the skid-loader.

Next, we did some mapping out, to plan for where we wanted our patio!...(see the faint orange paint)

Week three was where things really took shape, thanks to some more re-enforcements that came in to help Mike form up the patio (thanks Jody, Cory and Dad!) They graded the stone that would sit under the concrete pad and started to form the perimeter of the patio...

Next, rebar was cut, placed and tied together with wire to reinforce the concrete...

What week was it at this point you might ask? ha...I have no idea, I stopped keeping track=)

Finally, the day arrived for concrete to be placed, woohoo!!
(this is normally my favorite thing to do, but since I am pregnant, I just watched and manned the camera...oh and did I forget to mention, our family has a concrete construction business, so I grew up doing projects like these...and I LOVE it:)

Since the truck was too big to drive into the backyard, it stayed on the driveway, and filled up the bucket of the skidloader, which then brought it back to the dumping area. (Another special thanks to Chris and Paul, who helped us get the concrete in)

Here is the concrete in action...

Once the concrete is in and somewhat level, you use a "straight-edge" to get a smooth surface to the concrete and to get it completely leveled out. 

At this point in the project, I had to go to my girlfriends house, who I had promised to help with some projects she was I missed the last few steps in the process, which would have been like this:

-getting all the concrete into the forms and straight-edged
-letting it set up awhile, and "bull-floating" it, using a large, flat, metal, disk-like tool, attached to a long pole, which further levels it and brings the moisture in the concrete to the surface, where it will ultimately evaporate.
-after letting it set up further, "floating it" with a hand tool (called a "float") which closes in the air pockets at the surface of the wet concrete, and brings more water to the surface to evaporate...
-then going around the perimeter with an edging tool that gives it a nice finished edge
-after letting is set up even further, going over it with a hand tool, called a trowel, which gives it a nice smooth appearance, and completes the work.

So...are you ready for the end result??

Tada!! Isn't it a beauty of a patio! 

Here is the before again, just to help you visualize the transformation...oh and the overhang roof got completed right around this time did Mike do it all you might ask? I have no idea...I just am so thankful that he is such a hard worker and such an amazing you babe;)

annnnyway, here is the before:

and after:
Ahhh, I love it!

I could just keep on writing, since we have done so much, even since the patio was done, but I think this has been a long enough post, and I am getting restless to go sit out on my new patio, and relax on this lazy summer day...

so until next time...

Happy Father's Day everyone!


  1. Wow Adriane, what a transformation!! Looks great! Can't wait to see what you guys do next. Oh, and love your tabs. ; )
    ~ Catie

  2. The patio looks fantastic! Do you think I can put a patio on the back of my house following your step by step instructions? It would be so nice to have a "finished" area of the backyard to sit, like yours!

  3. Thanks Catie!! Yes, I am pretty excited about my tabs..haha...thank you for your help!

    I think that a patio in your yard would be awesome, the challenge would be figuring out how to get the concrete back there...but Mike and I would come and help!!



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