Saturday, October 19, 2013


Future Home of Our Patio Constructed with Pavers
Outlined by 2x4's
The Ad - Ya, I can do that.
What I found - Daunting

Slow Progress - But Progress Nevertheless

Chipping Away In Small Bites
Thousands to Move

I Would Wrap them and Tie them down to keep them
From Bouncing Around
Pile to Trailer to Pallet

Almost There

Pallets Growing
Starting to Look Like I'm in the Paver Business

And We're Done!

While all of this work has been going on I’ve been eyeballing the back of the house thinking about what would fit best. We’d like to have an area where we can relax and have cookouts with family, friends and even just to sit and not watch the world go by. While we have a small deck, we wanted something for a larger gathering.
I started thinking about a patio made out of pavers and the more I thought about it the more I liked it. I’ve constructed a walkway out of pavers and bricks in the past and have enjoyed the work and the look. So I took some scrap 2x4’s and started laying out an area. And of course having an abundant supply of scrap wood, the patio got bigger and bigger and the idea got grander with walkways and storage areas under the deck and pergolas and so on. But I needed pavers. On to one of my favorites sites; Craigslist.
Apparently pavers are in abundant supply. But only in small batches. Until I found the mother load. Somebody was selling their Cambridge pavers that had been around their pool. Perfect for me and it’s not like pavers wear out. So after a phone call Mrs. IHB and I went to check them out. They were perfect. Right amount. Right Color. Right size. Wrong place.
The owners had decided to replace the pool apron made out of pavers with concrete to give it a different look. The downside was when they pulled them up they left them behind the house. Behind the pool. Out in the woods. A long way from the driveway. A very long way. No, really. A very, very long way.
So there was this huge pile of pavers and moving them was going to be quite the task. So after some deep thought over a couple of days and calling for prices to move them and realizing that paying to move them would not give me the bargain that I wanted, I decided I’d just do it myself. And then my offer was accepted and the hook was set.
When we went back up and stared at the pile for a few minutes and I muttered something about the task being daunting. But what the heck, I’m in my 50’s and have never had a moment of common sense when it comes to daunting tasks at hand so the cash changed hands. It was at this point that Mrs. IHB looked at me with the sudden realization that she had obviously married a crazy man.
Over the next few weeks (OK, maybe longer than that) I would load the pavers in a Gorilla wagon (I need one of those) and trudge through a neighbor’s yard (with permission) up a small hill with my load. I’d stack them up in my trailer, drive them to the site and unload them into nice neat stacks on pallets that I had scrounged around for. Of course I managed to do this during the hottest, muggiest part of summer. I looked like a crazed man with a sweat soaked hat and t-shirt. And I’m sure I smelled the part. One of the owners, Helen, would come out and shoot the breeze with me from time to time. But would always make sure she stood upwind. The other owner, Linda, just stayed away. She knew I was crazy (but not as crazy as her when she watched football where I would chuckle listening to her hooting and hollering away). I was lucky to meet them though as they are both great people. The kind that you wish were neighbors.
So after all these trips, four pairs of leather gloves and gallons of water, trudging a couple hundred feet with a wagon load, lifting each paver one by one, I chipped away at the pile until they were all moved. I now have a nice neat stack of about 10 pallets of small, medium and large pavers ready to go on my project patio. This works out to over 1,000 square feet or about 3,000 pavers. Weight wise, that’s about 24,000 pounds or 12 tons done in my best “the fish was that big” guess.
Yes, I am crazy. Now I’m certifiable.
Enjoy  your weekend.