• Well, I have made some progress since the last post thanks to working on the cutting in the evenings after Tom has gone to bed. The hardest part of the cutting is that the breaker I am using Here is the breaker; it takes a bit of force to cut the bricks! (also under the blue tarp in the pictures below) is great at cutting large straight cuts, but not so good at cutting the smaller pieces and especially the small triangular pieces which are a large part of this design. So I have had to resort to using my Skil saw with a 7" masonry blade to cut the tricky parts. I've got a few more pieces to cut,

  • If any of you have been following this from the beginning, you have seen that despite the best of intentions, things tend to take a little bit longer than I anticipate. I always forget that a few things can get in the way of completing these types of projects: things like a full-time job that sometimes requires work in the evenings and weekends; a 1 year old, who definitely requires work in the evenings and weekends (:>) and generally the fact that I am not doing this as a full-time job (although I did many years ago). So I thought that 5 weeks would be enough, in terms of actual time working on this project, it has been nowhere near

  • So over the last week, I have worked on the backyard mainly when I came home from work. Come home, eat, put the baby to bed and move a ton of gravel. Literally. I had to rebuild the ramp because when we constructed the wall, there was no way to get the gravel and pavers back to the area near the deck, so I had to build a solid ramp to get the wheelbarrows filled with gravel etc, up the wall so I could dump the stuff. Fair enough. What has become apparent is that we don't have enough gravel (Called HPB, or High-performance base material) for the entire job. So I have to do some more calculations to figure

  • We started the patio/path project this past weekend and the idea was that I would take the week off to see how much we could get done and figure out how to do the rest in bits and pieces over the next few weeks. I was not for an instant thinking that I could finish in a week, especially given that at our house even outdoor space is at a premium. Here is a before shot (sorry it is a little dark). You can see the sod before I got at it with the (manual) sod cutter. The plan is to rip up the first bit of nasty old sod (which despite my best efforts was even at this early

  • Ok, I know it may be a bit of a stretch, but in the spirit of carrying on, I am going to try to document a project we will be working on this summer. We are going to put in a patio, retaining wall and brick paver path. I guess it is sort of a 'reno:' we are ripping out some stuff to allow us to put in what we want. So what if it is only grass and plants (not drywall and studs)... For those who haven't seen, I constructed a two-level deck In this picture the deck is about 90% done about 2 years ago and of course it took longer than I originally thought. Now we are