Saturday, September 29, 2012

the pit is gone.

To the right of our front door, was this dirt pit:

We've affectionately referred to it as the "neighborhood litter box." I don't think further explanation is needed here.

So, it was time for us to finally do something to this space. We quickly ruled out any foliage as the area had no drainage, no sun light, and we kill all vegetation.

Ideally we wanted to have this area be a concrete slab- to match our steps and small entry porch. But after a free estimate from a local concrete company, we ruled that out too.

The next best thing to a huge concrete slab? Concrete colored pavers. Back when we were putting in our french drain, we were out in the garden area at Home Depot, and stumbled upon the concrete colored, brick shaped pavers. While not identical to our current concrete, we thought they would blend far better than any alternative, or other type of paver we had seen. So we catalogued the product for when we were ready to tackle the job.

And that time was the minute our house was painted. It looked so chic and clean (post to come soon), and we were itching to make this area match.

We followed these two Lowe's videos about the process, although of course adjusting to our specific situation. We hit up the hardware store on Friday a few weeks back and bought our supplies (tamper, paver base, sand) and purchased the pavers to pick up the next day.

Saturday morning Ryan hit the road for his bike training, and I started excavating. We needed about 6 inches deep cleared for the job. So I dug out the nasty dirt, and tried my darndest to make it level and even.

We then brought in about 2-3 inches of paver base. You have to wet the mixture, and tamp this too. We quickly realized making the whole area 100% level was going to be pretty hard at this point. So we decided the best route was to try and lay down the paver base and sand as best as we could, but then level it off in sections with the brick. That way we'd have something to base our work off of.

We first had to pick a pattern. As always, so many options.


We were leaning towards the Running Bond, or Basket Weave. After laying out a few rows as a sample, we decided on Running Bond. We thought it was a more classic look.

And so we went to town. Paver base, sand, brick, level. tamp. Our best friend for this project was our rubber mallet. And level. Oh, and that green sit/kneel garden stool I picked up on sale at Osh.

And let's not forget our borrowed tile saw. That sucker was able to cut through the brick. And Ryan looked oh-so-stylish wearing my kissy-lip dish gloves.

It took us about two days, and about 20 bags each of paver base and sand to complete. And it was hard. But once we were done, we were so happy with the results.

To top it off, we used Polymeric sand as our grout. This hardens and stays, vs normal sand which would blow away. It was kinda pricey, so we used some regular sand first, and then then special sand on top.

And then we were done- ain't she pretty?

Freshly wet here, so reads much more darker than it is.

Right now it is still empty. I've toyed with a bench, or chairs- but I don't think we'd ever use them, and I don't want it to look cluttered. So we shall see, if I find a good deal on either one, I might try it out. But for now, we just wander around on it from time-to-time, enjoying the cat-free outdoor space.

Lastly, I leave you with Elliot and Riley waiting for me while I was in the garage. Oh-so-stinking cute.


  1. That looks so good! Nice work guys!

  2. You guys are so stinking handy - I am very impressed. You are definitely Dad's daughter.


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