December 7, 2014

Patio - condensed version

Remember this?   Ugh. When we moved in, it appeared that this addition to the house may have previously been used as a summer kitchen. There was a hoodfan and oven electrical outlet installed. Other features included leaky skylights, dark brown paint, moldy and stinky indoor/outdoor carpeting, and a floor made from old decking. It was dark, dingy, hot and stinky in the summer and full of everything we couldn't fit into the garage or the crawlspace.

So we tore it down:

That was good, because meanwhile, these had been delivered to the front drive:

Let's back up a minute. The teardown required a bobcat. You may remember that the summer of 2013 saw Calgary in the middle of a flood. It was tough going to find ANY equipment that hadn't been put to use helping with the demolition and repair of so many ruined homes.

Time and patience would be needed. If I needed any further convincing all it took was one walk for me to realize that my yard reno was nothing compared to the devastation that had to be dealt with around the city...and these shots from within walking distance of my house:

Blocks and blocks of houses had to be gutted

Muck and muck

All I need is a bobcat. You win. How can I help?

I know there were many things to be thankful for. But this still got to me. 

Our basement got a bit wet from all the rain, but in comparison to the folks impacted by the flooding river, we do not have a thing to complain about.

We were finally able to get a bobcat! He had to find the way in through the back yard, which was still pretty much undiscovered territory at the time:

It's a jungle out there.
That was okay, since we needed the bobcat to help clear a space for the new dog run too.

Back to the patio...loads of crush and gravel, and then loads of sand. Sloped away from the house just enough. Then we could start laying the pavers. Well, not really. First we had to rejig the pattern to get the most out of the ratio of brown to grey that we had ordered. 

The pavers are really interesting. They are installed on a grid system. Once you have your pattern worked out, then you have to figure out how to incorporate it in the square grids with enough overlap to the next grid so the whole thing is stable.
AZEK Pavers are the first composite material in the world made almost entirely of recycled content with the physical strength, durability and natural appearance to replace concrete. AZEK Pavers utilizes up to 95% post-consumer recycled materials (scrap tires and plastics), requires 94% less energy and releases 96% less carbon dioxide than the manufacturing of concrete pavers. - See more at:

They look brick-like, yes? But no...these gems are AZEK pavers. Without wanting to sound like an advertisement for the company, they are made almost entirely of recycled material. 95% post-consumer. They use 94% less energy than manufacturing concrete pavers. Plus, they have just a bit more give than concrete if you fall on them. Again, ordered from my new friends at Lumber King.

And when you're all done the deck and patio...what you really need is a party. For that, you have to wait until the following summer when it finally stops raining:

For a bit of contrast, here is a photo from about that same vantage point, one year earlier:

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