Sunday, March 08, 2009


Paver Party Part Two

It's no secret...this is a lot of work. Someone once told me that all home improvement projects take at least twice as long as you expect and cost at least twice as much. I don't have a lot of experience digging holes and I think that's the reason why it looks like it will cost 1.5 times as much but 3 times as long as I expected. I'm just plugging away (and will be at least one day next weekend) and I thought today that I would document the hole digging process:

Step 1: Establish the perimeterStep 2: Dig out the center
Step 3: Do basic leveling and clean up the sides and tamp
Step 4: Add layer of paver base and tamp
Step 5: Place paver in hole and repeat 19 more times

Also, I thought I'd take a shot of how things are right now:
I still need to finish digging (3 more to go!) After that, I will go back and precisely position and level the pavers with paving sand. Then I'll just need to add some soil around the edges and wait for the grass to grow back in a bit.

Sunday, March 01, 2009



It's amazing what you can get used to. I had a terribly walkway to my front door. In fact, it wasn't even a walkway so much as a misguided strip of concrete nonsensically meandered around the property's edge before bee-lining for the front door. So one day I christened my first sledgehammer believing that the best motivation for a new front walkway would be destroying the old one.
And that was over a year ago. I regularly have clients over to my house and with the rains this year, that has meant forcing them to slosh through ground with the consistency of a thick
milkshake. So finally got my act together (I broke down and purchased commercial task/project management software) and set up some actual timelines for completing items. Right now, I've chosen to focus on the outside of my house.


This is probably obvious, but I think it's worth repeating becuase it's so important. While working outside in my front yard this weekend I had no fewer than 5 people from my neighborhood come by and chat for a bit. Everyone seemed interesting in what I was doing and had words of encouragement. I think that's pretty impressive, considering my neighborhood only has about 34 houses in it. I also had someone stop by looking for a Cliff May house who wanted to come inside and see mine. If you want to get to know your neighbors and improve your neighborhood, work outside and make it easy for people to stop by.


During (just lining up the pavers)

Halfway Done (pavers positioned, half installed)

This is my buddy Charlie, who offered to help for free beer and Panda Express. If you look in the background, you can see both our Subarus.

I thought it might be fun to bring out some old pictures just to show how much things have changed. Below is a picture from shortly after I moved in (in hindsight, my friends and family thinking I was nuts buying this house was a perfectly rational reaction).

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