Wednesday, June 25, 2008

It'll do (a belated patio update)

I'm the first to admit that our patio is not much to look at. But at least we can use it now.

Just to give you an idea of what is involved to patch a few areas of a patio like we did, I'm going to give a little summary:

Twenty-five bags of concrete were needed for these two areas. One area was about 7' L x 2' W and the other was about 7'L x 7'W.

Steve and I made a few trips to Home Depot and Clark Devon for concrete bags as we didn't want to overburden our car with all that weight (not a good idea).

Since we didn't realize when we planned the project just how many bags it would take, we had decided to not rent a mixer and instead mix it all manually using our brute strength (free advice: Do not do this). We took turns. Steve would mix while I used the hose to add water and then the reverse. It pretty much took all day on a Saturday, but we finished in one day. And it whooped us good- we were fairly useless and cranky the rest of the weekend.

I have so many plans for our backyard and they include a new patio with stone or brick. And I've watched more than my share of "Landscaper's Challenge." But alas, they will have to wait.

Next spring we are 90% sure we will have a new fence on the north side of our yard put in (we will probably do ourselves in a few weekends) and after that I can finally plant more trees and shrubs and implement more of my landscaping plans. But for a new patio, we will probably wait until we get a new back porch.

In these parts (Chicago), a 2-story enclosed deck built to the new Chicago codes would run us about $20K- not exactly small change. (This price includes the tear down and removal of the existing back porch.)
At dinner that same Saturday night, we ate at a local place in their outdoor patio in back. We noticed they didn't have a first floor porch and that gave us the idea to just have an upper deck and only a small landing and staircase from our kitchen to the yard rather than a deck. This would enable us to have a larger patio. And a stone patio would last longer than a wood deck and need less maintenance.

We have time to plan and time to consider our options. Lack of funds gives one time to ponder. And in the meantime, we at least have a usable patio. As I said, it'll do!


Mark said...

Interesting thoughts, as we were planning a two story deck/porch on the side of our house to make it easier to get from the kitchen to our back yard. We really want two stories so that the top is off the master bedroom. If you just have the second floor version with only stairs on the first, how will it blend in architecturally?

Jocelyn said...

I am not sure. The one I saw had a staircase straight from the 2nd floor down to ground level that did not connect with the 1st. The first floor was a walk-out, which ours isn't.

I just like the idea of a bigger yard, but it is nice to have a deck also. We will have to look at it when we get there.

You could do an iron winding staircase. I've seen that before and it takes up less space and lasts forever as long as you don't let it rust. hmm...