Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Level Headed

For the sake of the rest of my family I spent yesterday working on the patio that will be the base for the girls' pool. My goal is to get this thing done this week so they can play in it. An added benefit is that it's pretty nice to sit in after a hot day of scraping paint.

I started yesterday by making a level line to work from roughly 1/3 of the way across. I set bricks on edge and made sure they were level with my two benchmark points. I used my string levels and a 14' and 8' board to check as I worked.

After completing the first I did another line of bricks following the same steps as above:

Then I decided to have some fun and make a line from one level line to the other making a capital "H" for our surname:

To make it even better I laid out the cross line so that it extends a line from the curve on the sidewalk through the path to the gate for the old vegetable garden yard. (which sadly is no longer part of our property)

Then Pete came over we went out to the dump to get rid of some of his construction debris, dropped a few things off at the salvage barn, and came back to get my car. We drove separately to lunch so that I could take his truck after we ate to go get more stone from our old house. The current owner is re-doing the back and reduced my limestone patio by a third and removed all the walks I had built. He graciously said I could take all the left over rock I wanted.

Here is a pic of me laying that patio eight years ago The remodel has removed all the patio beyond the pergola posts (which hadn't yet been laid when this picture was taken!:

By buying Pete's lunch I got him to come along and help me load some stone.

The mason was working there when we arrived and after introductions he complimented my on my work there, his makeover was quite easy he said. He mentioned that the quality and thickness of the Anamosa limestone I used was unavailable today. The apocryphal story is that architect Frank Geary, who designed the advanced technology lab at the UI came and went to Weber Quarry (where most local limestone comes from) and fell in love with the stuff, now he is specifying it on all his major jobs, ergo nothing of quality is available for the locals. (Like I say this is completely without any verification)

We loaded up some stone and I went home. After unloading the truck, Pete's daughter, who is our babysitter, drove it home. She'll come today in our car, that Pete drove home. I worked some after dinner last night. First I removed all the stone that I had gotten on Sunday and put down landscape fabric in the first third. I don't really think the fabric does any good for the way I construct these things, but it gives me something nice and dry to step on:

I am using my boards to make sure I'm still level as I place stone. This part is the giant jigsaw step. What's funny is that as I place stone I recognize many of the pieces from when I placed them before. So here is how it looked at 8:00 when I went in to put the girls to bed:

Today I'll get some more rock, and get some ag lime to start to fill between the rocks.

So to tote up expenses so far:

Limestone I bought before I talked to Brian $35.00
Pete's lunch $6.00
Landscape fabric $6.98

Total $47.98

Everything else I salvaged.

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