Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Badabing, badaboom, patio!

Our largest project of the summer was installing a patio where only poured concrete stairs existed before. After a few several design revisions, a smells-to-high-heavens skunk (stay tuned), a very painful (I'm assuming) injury, endless rainy days, and a lot of hard work (I'm assuming again), it was finally completed in time for my birthday weekend in May.

The summer before, we witnessed our neighbor take on the challenge of DIY patio and after five to six days of back-breaking labor, he ended up hiring Mike from Cutting Crew to finish it for him. However, before he threw in the towel, I convinced Justin to help him out for a day in hopes he would learn the ins and outs of patio installation for use in our future install. But, to no prevail, Justin called it quits after a half day. In those few short hours, his gloves wore thru and he had GIANT blisters on his pretty, little hands. So in fear that Justin would have no hands left after our patio installation, we went the pansy route and didn't lift a finger.

While Justin and I are pretty hands-on when it comes to projects (mostly to save a buck) we forwent doing this ourselves and hired the skillful and talented Mike from Cutting Crew. Not only did he come highly recommended, but he is also our dear friend. So, if you are in the Chicago-land area and need landscape, hardscape, or winter care, look him up, you won't be disappointed.

Mike did an awesome job and was a breeze to work with. Being a designer, albeit, not a hardscape designer, he let me have full control of the layout. I wanted to design our patio myself in order to make it truly custom (and you know I couldn't help myself). I knew we needed a spot for a dining set and grill, and we wanted a built in fire pit with a sitting wall around it. After the initial sticker shock of the first design, we went back and forth with him a couple times, changing our minds on the type of paving bricks and shortening or taking out a wall here or there, then eventually added it back in, trying to get the most bang for our buck and ending with this as our final design.

We were both overly excited to change this boring backyard and lawnmower's nightmare...

...into a one-of-a-kind social space for entertaining, making mouth-watering pudgey pies, and grilling those mighty-fine steaks.

B-e-a-u-tiful paver patio.

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