Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Digging Trenches

This summer we had some drainage problems with the old concrete slab we had that was pitched towards the house. Large rainfall = water cascading down the basement walk-out stairs and seeping into the house.

We knew it had to be fixed, and preferably before winter. So after a bit of scouring, I came across a Craigslist posting for some large bluestone pavers. A great look at reasonable cost. Plus, we could finally put our patio furniture on an actual patio! A week later, I heard jackhammers across the alley and found a crew tearing up a concrete sidewalk. After short conversation and some cash, they came and removed our old sidewalk.

Now we had a nice big trench going through the yard. Could be a fun slip-n-slide if only we lived on a hill. And if it was summer. But instead, i will slowly continue to dig this out for the patio.

I'm finding its quite hard to do a siginficant landscape job like this on a small urban lot. There are piles of bluestone all over the rear, and patio furniture, grill, firepit, landscaping stuff, piles of dirt, rain barrels, potting materials and other errata that all needs to be shuffled from one area to another as work progresses. It's also really hard to dig out compacted dirt! My back is getting a good workout from this, and I can only take a little at a time.

But things will need to pick up. Chicago just got our first below freezing temps (although one year ago we set records in the 80's), so there is little time left before winter to wrap this project up. Otherwise we'll be stuck shoveling snow off the "temporary" stepping stones all winter long!

6 comments:

Sandy said...

Nice score on the bluestone and the cement removal! Just don't say the sn*w word...

Vegetable Gardener said...

This is a great post.. Very informative... I can see that you put a lot of hard work on your every post that's why I think I'd come here more often. Keep it up! By the way, you can also drop by my blogs. They're about Vegetable Gardening and Composting. I'm sure you'd find my blogs helpful too.

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