Monday, October 12, 2015

All Decked out for Fall

Cooler temperatures are here, fall is in the air and there is nothing better than sitting outside enjoying the breeze!  And now that our new deck and patio are finished, we have the perfect spot to relax outdoors.


Our dream had always been to have the lower deck covered with a ceiling/roof so the furniture would stay clean and mostly dry.  I also wanted a ceiling fan to help with the summer heat!  So, for my birthday my parents granted my wish.  Mama bought the ceiling for us (it’s Tuftex vinyl panels) and my Papa came and installed it.  :) Thanks Papa!!  Here’s a selfie of us working on the ceiling. Hehe :)


And here is the finished product:


It turned out nicely.  Now we have a lovely weather-resistant outdoor room.  (I won’t say weatherproof, because rain can still blow in from the sides and get things wet!)  The fan is nice, too and creates quite a powerful breeze.  We haven’t needed it much yet, but I’m sure next summer we will be so thankful for it!  The light is great and it has a dimmer so we can lower it in the evenings for a nice ambiance. 


The furniture fits perfectly down here in the new larger space with the addition of the metal couch that Mama found a couple of years ago.  I centered it on the long “wall”.




Then I put the loveseat over in the corner by the stairs to create a nice conversation space. 


Our sewing machine treadle table makes a great spot for drinks or plants. :)


It’s a very inviting view coming down the stairs from the upper deck now.  I enjoy the walk a lot more since we moved the stairs to the other side.  The lower deck feels more integrated in the design.  Before we almost never used this space.


The upper deck has its own purpose, too with the metal dining table.


My new planter fits nicely in the small section by the stairs.  Mama found this one for me, it’s just like the one she has!  We put together a mum and ornamental cabbage arrangement for fall. 



The upper deck is nice at night, too with the addition of some string lights and candles.  It’s a nice spot for an alfresco meal. We love it!


And we have enjoyed a view evenings on the lower deck, too…


This firepot was a birthday gift.  It is really cool, we love it!  Thanks Debbie and Nelson!



My lanterns and tiki table torches light up the area pretty nicely.  :) 


I am so happy with how everything turned out!   Can’t wait until we can have a big party out here and enjoy the deck and patio with all our friends and family.  :)

Until then, the countdown to Halloween is on!  I’ll be slaving away in the sewing room on costumes and working on party decorations in my spare time.  Stay tuned for all our festive plans!

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Thursday, October 08, 2015

Paver Patio: Take Three

You may recall we have been hard at work in the backyard.  I left you with our completed deck and promises to “be back soon” with details.  Well, it’s been over a month since I’ve posted, and our backyard has been completed for a couple of weeks.  We finished it just in time for my birthday at the end of September, and then we had two weeks of rain.  Boo!  But now the rain is over and I am back to share all the details with you!

Here is where we left off:



Lots of work to be done!  Since we no longer had the stairs landing on the patio, we could make the whole thing one level!  Yay!  And since we were working off of the existing retaining wall, we could make it much larger, too!  Win win. 

First we laid out the space for the extension of the retaining wall. 


We were raising the exisiting wall one 6x6, so we put that on and secured it with rebar. 


My job was to drill all the holes with this fancy electric drill.  Good times. :)




Next we turned our attention to the new top step.  We had to add one more step to get up to the new height of the patio. 





The new patio had to be one step down from the lower deck, so we had to raise the height on that end.  So I determined where the level started falling on the old patio, and we pulled up all of the pavers beyond that point.  That was the end of day two. 


We wanted to fill in the space with fill dirt, so we shoveled up all the gravel under the pavers and put it in buckets and a pile on the driveway for later use.


The next day we got some fill dirt and commenced filling in the hole.  We started on the completed end and built towards the deck until we ran out of dirt.


We pulled a grid of strings to keep the level across the patio while we were laying pavers. 


End of day three, still need more dirt.  It was a big hole behind that new wall! 


Day four, more dirt, more gravel, repeat…


More strings, more pavering. :)


By the end of day four, we had finished all the way over to the deck.  All that was left was filling in the holes with cut pavers.  For that we had to rent the big paver saw!



I didn’t get any pictures of Mama with the wet saw as I was otherwise occupied working on the deck ceiling with Papa.  But it looked something like this.  Mama even stayed to finish the job while Michael and I ran off to dinner with his family.  Thanks Mama!  The patio is perfect!  (And we’re never doing it again!!) ;) 

Though I griped a bit about redoing the patio, it wasn’t as hard as the first time we built it.  In July.  In 100 degree weather.  This time we had it easy!  It was pleasant and beautiful weather.  And we spread the work out over five days, so we didn’t get exhausted.  Except for Mama, she works harder than me. :)


I love it now that it’s done.  It’s super spacious and flat and gorgeous!  It’s so much space I don’t even know what to do with it!  :)


I’m thinking this empty spot near the door would be perfect for an grilling station/potting bench.  I could use it for potting and then when we want to grill, it can easily be converted to hold all our grilling tools and provide useful counter space while cooking! :)  I’ll put that on the project list next year!


While we were redoing the patio, we had to remove all the plants from the bed in front of it.  So when the patio was finished, I filled in the bed with dirt and leveled it off.  Then I put the hostas back as well as a row of Anthony Waterer shrubs.  Then we added a few salvia and astilbe.  It looks so nice with fresh mulch! 





The lattice is also lovely.  Papa installed that for me as a birthday present (along with the ceiling). And he didn’t even make me help.  He did it while I was at work.  Isn’t that sweet? :)  It really finishes off the whole thing nicely. 


So, how bout a before and after of that gorgeous patio?



Yay, patio complete!  Thank you, thank you Mama!!

I’ll be back very soon to share the final photos of the lower deck complete with ceiling, ceiling fan and beautiful furniture.  Stay tuned! :)

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P.S. For the back story on the patio, see Part One and Part Two.