Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Where the sidewalk ends

This is not a figment of your imagination. I’m actually writing about the long-awaited sidewalk update that I teased about earlier this summer. We've been busy bees these past few days over Labor Day weekend (taking three extra days off of work to focus on house projects), and I'm ready to show off some of the fruits of our landscaping labor!

Let’s go back in time, shall we? The first two pictures here were taken last fall, and the third picture was taken this past spring, after our limestone border was in.

After much contemplating about what material to use (pour a sidewalk? concrete pavers?), we decided on clay pavers.

And that’s pretty much where I can no longer legitimately use the word “we,” because once the pavers were unloaded onto our driveway, Luke took it from there. He painstakingly planned the layout, carefully cut the pavers to fit the edge of the limestone rock (going through several masonry blades in the process), and tirelessly toiled over our sidewalk for weeks. And for someone who had never laid a sidewalk before, I must say he did pretty damn good.

Unfortunately, I lost all of my “in progress” pictures, except this one.

But here’s the jist of what we/Luke did:

- Removing the concrete stoop in front of our side garage door (we debated about leaving it, but thought it would look a lot better to have the pavers there too, even though it meant more work)*
- Leveling the dirt*
- Moving sand*
- Spreading a couple inches of sand over the dirt, and leveling the sand
- Staking a 2x4 into the ground to form the straight edge for the inside of the sidewalk
- Laying rows of pavers, making sure the rows were straight, square, and level
- Cutting the pavers on the end of each row where they meet the limestone
- Spreading sand over the completed rows to fill in the cracks*
- Lining the inside of the sidewalk with "rock replicas" (concrete pavers made to look like rock), then mortaring the joints

* Denotes the only tasks I really helped with

 So, without further ado, here is the sexy new sidewalk!

It still looks a little dirty because of all the sand that was on top of it. Maybe I'll take some more glamour shots once it gets a good washing, but I was too impatient for that today.


[Yes, our sad burning bush on the right has seen better days. Don’t pretend like you didn’t notice. The scorching heat and dry spells took their toll this summer, or at least that’s what I’m blaming it on. But I think she’ll recover… hopefully.]

I've never appreciated a sidewalk more than I do now. It’s a beautiful thing. I'm also really happy we did a raised landscaping bed here; I think it adds more interest to this side of the house. (One of our other projects this weekend was filling in all our landscaping beds with river rock... that's a post for another day.) 

So, where does our sidewalk end? Well, it expands to almost double the width past the landscaping bed, and several feet beyond the fence to our backyard. That means we now have a place for our stinky trash and recycling bins, which were previously crammed into our garage. Woot!

Here's a couple close-ups of the outside edge, where Luke cut the pavers to match the limestone:

What was the cost of all this, you might be wondering?  Well, besides a lot of time, here's a rough rundown:
Sand: $70
Limestone rocks: Free!
730 clay pavers: $450
22 concrete pavers: $94
Total: under $620

Now that I’ve proven we’ve actually been productive this summer, I’ll wrap this up for now. It's back to the ol' grind tomorrow, but at least it will only be a 3-day work week for me!


Hillary @ The Sweet Maple Life said...

That looks so good! And it was def worth the effort to cut the brick like the limestone. It looks like its naturally melded - omg i love it :)

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

This looks so great! You guys obviously put a lot of work into it and it shows! Awesome job!

Kim @ NewlyWoodwards said...

This looks AMAZING. He did such an awesome job.

TamStyles said...

WOW...bell just went off. I need to show my husband this. Love it!

Carrie @ Two Poms and a House said...

looks awesome lady!

micah @ the yellow front door said...

Looks great.... just like everything else you guys do!


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