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Brick Patio

As you can see, we got the ground all prepped like we wanted a couple weeks ago. There was an awful lot of prepping to do, more than I would have figured.  Jodi kept on pointing at this slightly raised area, then that one.  And, we needed to fill in some low spots that I would not have even noticed.  But, it was all good and all necessary.  I recently read an old proverb that said "If I had ten hours to chop down a large tree I would spend seven sharpening the axe."  There's a lot of wisdom and applicability in that.  I don't usually prescribe to that philosophy very well, though.  Jodi, on the other hand, is pretty good at it so she helps balance me out.

Just like the front walk (which I'm only just now realizing I never blogged about) we got all the brick for free! I've added a photo of the front walk here for your reference.  That project was made possible by the old MFA building in Elkland, MO.  I was driving by it on my way to go pick up the children from my mom's house.  I always liked the building.  It was the only red brick two-story building in Elkland.  It was overgrown and boarded up.  When seeing it, I would usually brainstorm about what could be done with it if I was somehow able to acquire it.  In the condition it was in I didn't figure that the owner of it would have to be offered much to be convinced to let it go.

This particular day that I was driving by, it happened to be being demolished by a large excavator.  I stopped and asked the operator if it'd be alright to come back that evening and grab some brick from the rubble.  He gave me permission to do just that and I came home with a nice load of brick.  I didn't have a truck/trailer combo able to haul a large load so I negotiated borrowing one from my friend, Nate, in exchange for a third of the bounty.

So, it turned out that I wound up owning part of that building after all, you could say.  It's also nice to know that the building, as neat as it was, will go on living, in a sense, having been repurposed into a nice entry walk for our Springfield home that is likely roughly the same age as the MFA building was.

Sorry for the blog within a blog so far.  Back to the brick patio, it's taken several evenings and one Saturday so far to get where I am.  However, I think it's going pretty well.  We are over half way done and it's looking great.  I agree with what Jodi said about it "It really ties in everything we've done in the back."  She's right.  We built a great looking deck, an outdoor closet/remodeled backyard-to-basement entry door, a garden wall connecting the house to the detached garage complete with arched doorway, and installed a proper side door to the garage.  The brick patio is what fills in the area between all these improvements.

This brick, primarily, came from a house just off North Grant.  I don't know it's original source.  This house had a huge stack of them behind their garage.  The owners had just recently bought the house and were looking for someone to haul them away.  My friend, Jake, tipped me off about them.  The other two places that I scored more brick, albeit a much smaller quantity, were from our house and from a Craigslist ad.  The ones from our house came from taking down the second chimney.  When we finished out the attic into a cool fourth bedroom, I dismantled a second unused chimney to below the floor level.  It had previously been dismantled to be below the roof several decades ago, but I took it further down to remove it from the attic altogether.  The Craigslist ones came from a demolished brick detached garage.  There wasn't much left, but I took what they had.

I should have some time tonight to continue laying more brick.  Plus, I can get several hours logged tomorrow morning.  I have no other obligations until early afternoon.  So, I think that I'll try and maximize my time.  I also have the firepit to masonry up, so I can't say that I can knock it all out, but I certainly will get a lot closer.  It will be nice to have a legitimate outdoor space around the firepit that we have been using for some time now.  I'm really looking forward to it all being complete.


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