Well, the hard part is at least. We will still be adding a water feature (small pond/waterfall) and landscaping around the patio and deck, as well as a pergola over one corner of the patio (the corner farthest from the deck). But besides all that- we are done!
The last weekend of work actually started on Wednesday. Brian had a lot to do this day if we had any hope of getting the patio laid before our mini-vacation the following weekend. First he finished the patio edging (the 4x4s surrounding the stones). This was time consuming work (which started the previous Sunday), as it involved a lot of leveling and the annoying task of notching the timbers. Next Brian put down landscaping fabric and then created the leveling system for the sand. One board was installed temporarily along the ground (to be removed and filled with sand later) along with a longer board that would be pulled across the edging to create a level surface.
Thursday, two tons of sand were dumped in our driveway which Brian hauled into the patio that night. Next he leveled the sand, which took well past sundown. He wanted to get it all finished so we would be able to pick up the stones on Friday.
I didn't have to work on Friday so in an effort to get more done, Brian took a half day off and we went to pick up the stones and bricks from Home Depot. This was not fun. We needed 186 large stones and 136 small bricks. The large stones were over 20 lbs each! It took us three different trips (using the Jeep and a trailer) to get it all. It really, really sucked. But it probably wasn't as bad as hauling four tons of gravel and two tons of sand.
Our goal for Friday had been to just get the bricks, but that was done fairly early and we wanted to get a head start on laying the stones (we had heard that Sunday would be the hottest day of the year). Brian actually trusted me with the stone/tile saw, so I cut stones while Brian laid them. It took us about 3 hours to get all the stones put into place.
We still had to fill in the cracks with sand and rent the compacter again to make sure the stones were set, but that was easily done in a couple of hours on Sunday.
Edit by Brian: Courtney says this was easy because she wasn't dragging around a 300 lb vibrating plate compactor!
It's such a relief to be done. Brian tells me this was the most back-breaking thing he has ever done, so I guess I'll trust him on that. ;)
Head on over here for more pictures from last week. I'm sure we'll keep updating you on our other smaller projects as we get them done.
This weekend we are taking a well-deserved break and heading out to Las Vegas!