Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Farewell 2009 and Happy New Year

We setup a small tree this year for the holidays in our family room, and it turned out to be a cheerful addition for the holidays. Those with astute eyes may recognize the "major award" in the box under the tree. :-)

Here's to a wonderful and sustainable New Year in 2010!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Placing Pavers

Well it took a bit of time to install (and even more time to post), but we got our bluestone pavers all in place. It wasn't easy as the shapes were mostly rectilinear, so we had to conjure up some old Tetris skills (see Dad, I told you Nintendo was good for us!). We were able to lay out a design that would blend the large stones with the small, yet have the durability to last.

We started by "cascading" the largest pavers in the high-traffic area of the back yard, near the rear stairs. These large stones are roughly 3 x 4, and quite hefty! But by offsetting each by about 6" or so, the pattern creates an optical curve from the gate towards the back yard.

We then had to reserve some large 2' x 4' stones for the walkway that connects our garage to the patio.

The pavers are not grouted or set in concrete, but instead the joints are filled with sand and stone dust. This permeable paving allows for stormwater to drain through the paved area more naturally, instead of diverting all the water to the edges of the patio. It also will be more tolerant of any movement due to freeze/thaw cycles during winter.

The colors of the bluestone pavers are a muted in these photographs of the completed job area due to the final layer of stone dust. After winter, we'll likely do a light powerwash to remain any residual surface grime. In any case, here is the completed work:

Everything wrapped up pretty nicely, and we even have a pile of remnants we may do something artistic with next year. For the time being though, we had about one nice day that we got to enjoy our patio before the weather started to really cool down. After the winter snows freeze and thaw, hopefully there will be little movement between the pavers.