This patio project is probably going to be one where I hate taking pictures along the way. Tasks that take a couple hours and are critical to moving forward don’t really make the area look any less depressing. At least with jobs like exposing the brick, each day things looked better in some way…or even tiling.
The demo’d Bilco door yielded 160 lbs of scrap steel which I sold at a scrap yard in Dundalk on Saturday morning…for $16. I did however get some good money for the 16 lbs of copper pipe scrap that had been in the basement since the new plumbing rough-in. The weather fluctuation around here lately has held up pouring back a new curb around the pit, so it still looks a lot like it did the last time I posted. The only thing different about the pit at this point is that I pulled all the brick pieces out and filled up that trash can which is subsequently unrealistically heavy. I may use some of it to back fill the curb and take the rest to the dump this weekend if I get some time.
I actually was able to dig up some relatively old pictures of the patio before much of anything was done to it. The entire area was a complete after thought as we were doing the bulk of the house so I don’t even have a good shot of the original “deck” which really was only a tiny bit larger and had a rickety old aluminum railing around it. The first chunk of which was cut off to allow access for my Dad and I to install a new basement window. All of that is pretty well represented here:
Saturday morning I got out the saws-all and took care of both of the above tasks. The result was this:
Please excuse the paint testing. Those were maroon mixtures for the front door. I haven’t decided what to do about the color on that door or if I am going to keep the obnoxious red on the garage door. That is the least of my worries right now. Demo’ing the deck got me about 3 ft of space between the bottom of the stairs and the garage door. It also bought me a little space to the side where the basement pit is. The whole process was actually really not bad at all. I made a couple of cuts just behind the supports at the back of the stair stringers, threw out the old deck and slid the stairs up against the house. The deck previously was not secured to the back of the house at all. I have not secured it yet as I figured my Dad and I may want to move it again when we build the fence on that side so that we have access to set a post closest to the house. I am also trying to figure out how to repaint it…because its obviously very dingy looking. I was thinking white everywhere but the treads and maybe paint the treads brownish or something. I debated replacing the treads with trex or something, but who am I kidding, it can’t possibly be worth it. Paint will do just fine for now.
I think this picture gives a good idea of why I was using the pictures I posted previously as an inspiration for my space:
The furniture will probably not stay where it is, but there is no room in the garage for it now as Beth gifted me her bistro set from her apartment this past weekend. The two love seats I have were my grandfathers and he got them from his time in the marines. I sprayed them with several coats of black rustoleum last summer and stored them away. Ollie’s of all places had yellow cushions that fit for $19.99 a piece so I bought 4 of them last weekend. I figured it wasn’t worth setting them up and taking pictures as they would like starkly out of place in the largely unfinished rest of this mess.
In keeping with my $1,000 budget for this project, I don’t know if pavers are anywhere near in the cards, so a good power-washing…which has probably never been done will have to suffice for this year. I’m already expecting the fence materials to eat up a large chunk of that $1,000. With furniture taken care of at cost of $0 + approx. $85 worth of cushions I may have some wiggle room to do some other things. I hope when my Dad and I tackle the fence I will have a better idea of where plants can go.
Here is the style of fence I hope to achieve:
This is the wall where the metal fence once stood. I’m not sure what decade my neighbor’s addition was built in, but I’d venture to say that window some how snuck past code…if there was any at the time. Truthfully the window creeps me out. My neighbor is very nice from my brief interactions with her, but its mere existence has sparked brainstorming about some pretty outlandish ideas to block her view of the patio without blocking the window. If you’re actually standing in the back yard it is its over 6′ off the ground so I plan to run the fence right up to the bottom of it and then figure out a plant that can strategically grow upward.
This is the other side getting fence. The middle of my neighbor’s ridiculous deck gives a little bit of glimpse into why their address and mine were on the same deed at one point in the 19teens and 20′s. Here the top of their deck rail is something like 7′ 6″ or maybe a hair more, so I will run my fence up to about that height.
Also to be tackled in some creative way are my ancient AC unit lines.
Until I can afford to replace this beast, I want to disguise the lines as best as I can and maybe build a lattice screen around the thing. The cheapest solution I have come up with to date as far as the lines go is buying a length of corrugated black drain pipe and cutting a slit down the top of it. This would act as a gigantic wire wrap and make it look more like a drain pipe. I know its not really important but its ugliness bothers me.
Also uncovered from storage in the garage since last March when I snatched them off Ebay, a pair of Yamaha outdoor speakers that I got for $40. I will be putting together the wiring and volume control knobs to tie them into the rest of the whole house system eventually. Whats great is they make volume controls just like the ones in my walls that are meant to be installed outside. This way the music can be adjusted without having to run to the living room or using one of those cheap Ipod docks. I am contemplating running a set of RCA’s from the receiver back to the patio so that the Ipod or a computer could actually be carried right out back to select music. I figure its safe to wait to order that stuff until the important stuff gets taken care of.