Monday, August 18, 2008

The Last Renovation Post?

I sure hope that it is. We are still waiting on the final inspection – have been waiting for a couple of weeks – but other than that the contractor’s work is done. With the addition of some salvaged furniture, we now have a comfortable outdoor room on the front porch. You can read more about the furniture at Stitching Times.

We also finally have a functional patio. After a lot of trial and error, the final solution was to add concrete between the pavers and push the pea gravel down into the concrete to give it texture. It’s pretty lumpy and bumpy, but some of that will wear over time. The whole thing still has some other issue issues – most notably the feeling that you are listing to port when you sit on it. Apparently the original patio was sloped toward a drain at the corner of the carport. Since the new patio was designed to follow that outline, you can see the problem. It’s fairly subtle, but we have a couple of chairs swivel chairs that make it more noticeable. I guess that as long as the drinks don’t slop over, it’s not a problem. With the railing installed and the bones of the landscaping done, it is shaping up. Now we will have to wait for a flash flood to see if the patio solved the water in the basement issue.
We ended up with a couple of piles of leftover gravel. One will form the base of a dry creek bed that we are going to run along the east side of the yard to divert water and the other will be used along with some concrete to make more pavers to create a transition from the patio to the grass.
We also still need to paint the back porch now that the pressure treated lumber has cured. I had a go with hammer and drill this weekend, and countersunk all of the nails and screws that needed it, and the railing seams have been caulked and are curing. In a couple of days we will give it a good wash, then prime and paint. The plan is to paint the railings white and the stain the deck a medium gray color.

I probably shouldn’t even mention the gutters. We do still have one gutter corner that leaks, and one of these days Mark or I will climb up there and seal it up. Ditto with the gutter covers, some of which aren’t seated properly.

Now it is on to the projects we are committed to finish ourselves. We have decided that growing grass if the front yard is a loosing proposition. There is just too much shade, and between the maple tree and the crepe myrtle, too much competition for resources. Instead we are building paths through the yard, and turning the whole thing into a cross between a woodland and a cottage garden. You can read about the garden plans at my Native in the City blog post.

By the way, here are a few thoughts for what to do with left over bricks and pavers. Turn bricks on their side and use them to make rustic stepping stones. Use the pavers to make a narrow driveway wider. We have one side completed, and a stack of pavers to do the same on the other side. Once those are in place we will repair the cracked concrete in the drive.