Hello, Progress!

A few weeks ago, these big machines pulled up in our driveway…




Construction equipment demo day





and our steps, retaining wall, and patio that used to look like this…





Patio before(We dismantled the pergola before they arrived.)





became this rather large pile of dirt.






View of yard demo




Even though our backyard was forced to enter the “It’ll loook worse before it looks better” stage, (and it looked baaaad!) each day something new and exciting would happen–always accompanied by a lot of noise, dust, and the smell of gasoline that made us wonder, “What is that?” (Apparently gasoline is used to grease the plywood forms so they will not stick to the newly poured concrete. Apparently.)*




*Or someone spilled some gasoline while filling the big machines because the forms were up for two days, yet the air generally smelled for weeks after.




Forms for retaining wall




After some design decisions that made us wonder, “Ahck, was that the right choice?”–because this was our first (concrete) rodeo–our confidence grew as the new retaining wall, steps and patio were slowly unveiled.





Smoothing concrete patio





Check out the plywood boards the workers wore strapped to their feet to prevent footprints! Kinda like snowshoes!






Stamping concrete patio




Grooves were made every 48″ square as both an aesthetic choice and to prevent cracking. A brushed finish was added to the concrete that was colored Dark Grey–at least, in theory. (Despite the name, the color cured to one that is much closer to a light, bluish grey.)





When the patio and stairs were finally smoothed and finished, they required 24 hours of drying time before we could step on them…






Concrete patio stamped








and do a little dance for joy because we LOVED how it all turned out!






New poured concrete patio






The surrounding area still needs plants galore and some amazing outdoor furniture and styling before it is really ready for its closeup. (JB walked by as I was typing this and remarked, “The patio is not ready for a reveal!”)




But who knows how far off that will be? For now, we have an RH fire pit (from the 40% off sale at the RH outlet. We made the forty minute trek for patio furniture which, sadly, was either too gargantuan or too puny and as we stood there willing it to be otherwise, a salesperson wheeled the very fire pit I was hoping they’d have and parked it in front of our feet–like it was a sign from the furniture gods! At least that’s what I kept telling JB!). And, really, what more does a patio need?






Restoration Hardware fire box






Oh, right, chairs!







New patio RH fire table patio chairs





Don’t worry, I’m on it. 🙂





How about you? Have you been sprucing up your yard in the spirit of “Spring has sprung”?




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1 Comment on Hello, Progress!

  1. PickyB
    April 17, 2015 at 8:16 AM (5 years ago)

    Amazing transformation, well worth the effort.


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