Monday, January 4, 2016

Preparing for Paving a Patio

Ugh.  So we've made an error in the renovation plan.  Done things back to front.  Lesson learned.

We have a large area in the back of the garden that we want to pave and use as a base for a shed and trampoline.  I spoke to the ground works guys about paving the area, but they didn't have time.  What we should have done is get someone else in to do the paving before the foundations started.  Seriously kicking myself because we had clear access and two diggers here last month.  Oh well.

Instead, we've done things back to front.  We have a 25 square meter area that needed to be dug out by 8 inches/20 cm at the lowest point, and over 18 inches/60 cm at the highest point.  I thought I could dig the area out by hand.   I sadly underestimated the size of the job.  After digging for hours and barely getting one meter square removed.  You maybe can't tell, but the black area by the area represents about six hours of digging.  The kids have enjoyed 'helping' in the process.

I caved and hired a mini digger.

Since it was the Christmas break, my options were limited.  We chose to pay a lot more than we would have normally to get the job done.  

For £280 a day we got a digger, an operator and guy on the ground.  They had to fill in the foundation trenches and use boards to cross into the back of the garden.  They took the spoils to the foundations, drove across, moved the spoils to the front drive, and had a grab hire come and collect the spoils.  The grab hire also delivered 10 tons (way too much, by the way, but it's what the digger operator ordered) of type one hardcore.  

The scene in front of our house, just before Christmas.

The next day, the digger lifted the hardcore into a wheelbarrow, and the guys hand wheeled it to the back of the garden.

In total, our back to front mistake ended up costing £810. 

Digger Hire:  £560
Grab Hire:  £190
Hardcore:  £60

And that's how we got to this:

The next step is to get the pavers laid.  We're going for big (2 feet x 3 feet/ 600 mm x 900 mm) which is a bit too heavy for me.  So we'll be hiring someone to do that as well, hopefully following this guide from Marshalls.  We still have about £500 estimated costs just to get this area paved.  

Since the professionals were doing the back patio preparation, I decided to work on the patio area near the house.  We already have pavers here, but they're old and cracked.  We'll repave.  And we want to extend the patio out about a meter, which meant the final tree stump had to be removed.  (It was too close to the house and boundary fence to have it removed with the JCB.)

I dug and dug, used saws and a pile driver to cut the roots.  And then dug and cut some more.

And then six missionaries came over from church to help as well.  It took hours, but we finally got that beast of a stump removed!


Next up?  Who knows.  Maybe we'll get the drainage dug, perhaps brickwork will start soon, possibly pavers on the back patio.  And rain.  Definitely rain! 

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