So before I moved in 2 years ago, my uncle Mike M and I setup a retaining wall and dug up the backyard and dumped dirt under the huge tree in the back which had big roots sticking up. We put rock pathways, seating, small lawn, and a firepit. The top right quadrant was a blank canvas. I tried growing vegetables but they either died or got eaten up by animals, possibly gophers.
We thought about hiring a landscaper, but for what we wanted, it was beyond what we were willing to spend. Luckily my dad had some pavers from my uncle Mike J that were leftover from a commercial job site in the city. Here's what they look like:
We then decided we would make a 13 foot by 13 grid of these surrounded by a square framed with treated 2 by 4's. We also decided to make a pathway from the side gate to the front of my house, rather than have overgrown uneven grass on the side of the house.#mathphoto16 #lines #symmetry #multiples my uncle had extra pavers. Going into my backyard! Concentric circles! pic.twitter.com/SubJE3WttS— Martin Joyce (@martinsean) July 4, 2016
As you can see, with manual labor help we dug out the area and tried to make it roughly level. Then we framed a square. We made sure that the lengths were equal and forming four right angles. Then we cut and set rebar and tied off where it crossed.
My dad, the finisher, and El Chapo.
3/4 of the way there.
When you finish pumping concrete you can't leave the cement in the hose or it will harden and be stuck there. Big Paul has an ingenious method. He gets a wet sponge ball and sticks it one end of the tube and attaches a water hose to it to push the ball through the hose getting all the cement out.
Instead of having dead muddy grass on the side of the house, we now have a cement pathway. Makes it easier to take out garbage, recycling weekly and also to get in and out of the backyard quicker. Ideally I'd like to take the gate out and move it up to near the garage in the future.
Laying it down.How many squares do you see? Hint: 1 layer will fit in the large cement square. Estimate. Reasoning? @Estimation180 pic.twitter.com/tEzNWTYGn0— Martin Joyce (@martinsean) July 15, 2016
And the final patio! My father in law planted some succulents and a lemon tree on the border of the patio area.
We also painted our fireplace with this brick cleaner goopy adhesive. After a day and a half it was completely dried and I peeled it all off. I'd advise to put it on thick in between the bricks because it's hard to pull it off when it's thin.