Oh Pati-o

On Sunday I spent an hour and a half writing a post and uploading pictures of our finished patio project. Then it froze while I was uploading a picture, I navigated away from the page (which I have done before without consequence), came back, and it was gone. All gone. No words, no pictures, nothing. I was so annoyed. It didn’t autosave like it should have and it hasn’t magically shown up in my drafts. I really don’t feel like writing it all over again, although Stephen says I should, so I present to you a story in pictures. With a few words.

Because I have to tell you about the bricks. The 3 TONS of bricks. That we hauled ourselves. With help from Tina and Steve. I found them on good ol’ craigslist, they were being sold in pallets of 600 bricks for $210 and were reclaimed from an old tobacco company in Kentucky. The people selling them are based out of Charlotte, and make a living buying demolished buildings, taking the materials, cleaning them up, and reselling them. I calculated that we would need 2 pallets for the size patio we wanted. We rented a u-haul utility trailer, hooked it up to Miss Rev (my Escape, which has towed a full 6’x12′ trailer before with no problems) and went to pick up our 1200 bricks, cash in hand. We arrived at the warehouse, the guy (let’s call him Craig, I don’t remember his name) looked at Miss Rev, looked at the trailer, and said, “You know how much these pallets weigh, right?” Turns out, as I said before, they weighed 3000 lbs EACH. 6000 lbs TOTAL. THREE TONS. Each pallet weighed only 50 lbs less than my car! Not to mention, the trailer was only rated for 1660 lbs. This was going to be an issue. Craig was willing to give it a shot and tried to load one of the pallets onto the trailer. As he was trying to shove the pallet farther in with the forklift, so it was centered over the axle, the front of the trailer started to rise into the air…and the rear tires of my car started to rise into the air….at least 6 inches into the air…clearly, this was not going to work. I wish I had a picture of that.

We ended up unpacking the pallet and loading it brick-by-brick into the trailer, so they were evenly distributed over the floor. We got about 2/3 of the pallet in and drove home to get some water and call in the reinforcements – our friends Tina and Steve. Not to be confused with Tori and Stephen. Which we were for a while. Mainly by little old ladies at church. They came, we loaded bricks, went home, unloaded, went back, loaded more bricks, went home, unloaded, and then made dinner. And then we had a pile of 1200 bricks in our backyard. And it began…

This is our old patio. It was not attractive. Or big enough. And hurt your feet if you walked on it barefoot.

Prepping the foundation. Note the pile of bricks.

Laying bricks. We went with a herringbone pattern.

Then we had to stop for a few weeks because it got hot, but the doggies appreciated the sandbox we made for them.

Almost done, need to finish the edge.

Edging done, last step is to brush sand into the joints.


Another angle.

Close up of the herringbone pattern. I love how no two bricks are the same.

We even have bricks left over for future landscaping projects!

Corbin says thanks for reading!