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Pam Wants a Patio #1: Planning and Building

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Blog entry by hjt posted 1055 days ago 854 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Pam Wants a Patio series Part 2: Phase 2 - The Floor »

Pam has lots of ideas of how she’d like to transform the yard. Thankfully she’s willing to do this a little at a time. This year (2011) she felt that we could take some time and money to create a little patio area. The area where she wants to build this is where she has been storing loads of plants. It’s a great little area that backs up to our neighbor’s fence, plus their oak provides lots of shade – a wonderful commodity here in Florida.

So Phase 1 was to clear the area and built the structure. This meant we needed to pull out our handy “lean-too” and create a shade area for all the plants that had been in filtered sun for so long.


Lots

and lots

and lots of plants!!!

the “Lean-Too”

ah, shade again.

Pam’s idea was to create a small and pretty sitting area. One that would sit just the two of us, while having many of her plants nearby. She designed on paper the way it would look; a raised bed in the shape of a “C” made out of landscape timbers.


Ground cleared and building begins


The ol’ Milwaukee cuts like a dream! The head gear is great too. No more foggy glasses while keeping my face and eyes safe from all the saw dust. Harbour Freight for a couple of bucks.

We staggered the timbers to make a more interesting design and stacked those 5 high.


The project is coming along well – time for a beer. Besides… it’s 5 O’clock somewhere!

To stabilize the timbers, we decided to drive stakes into the ground and screw through the stakes into the timbers. I did this for the bottom four timbers. I then used 4” screws and drove those into the fourth level down into the third and did the same with the fifth and final level – screwing it into the fourth.

My little helper took several scrap pieces and did the honors.


Here she’s ripping the timbers in half on the table saw.


And here she’s cutting them to size and putting a point on them. And you thought she was just a pretty face! Dad would be proud of his daughter in law.

To make sure the rain and watering did not push the dirt out from between the timbers, I lined the inside with “weed block.

Why is it that there always seems to be a tree root or something exactly where you need to plant a post??


A Saws All comes in very handy

As with all of my projects, I seem to be learning or re-learning somethings. After getting the pieces cut and in place, it occurred to me that I had not checked to see if it was square. I had been using a square and all was looking great, but I never never stretched a line to make certain I was building square. Sure enough, it was off. Not only was it off, but I had already set in concrete 3 of the four post. I guess you could say “better late then never, ”but earlier would have been REAL nice. Thank God I surprised myself and found that it was not off that much. Lucky! I did, however, have to use a pipe clamp on one post and move it a little in order for it to line up with the other post. These posts will be used to build a pergola from which we will be able to hang her plants. This will be very handy for those few weeks when the temps drop below 35. During the past 2 winters we have had many weeks of very cold weather which saw us dragging all her cold sensitive plants in the house, the laundry room, and the workshop. We hope this will make life a little easier during those times.

-- Harold



6 comments so far

View FunkadelicAlex's profile

FunkadelicAlex

146 posts in 1325 days


#1 posted 1055 days ago

Looking great so far! I built my fiance’s first garden area out of blocks… and then the other 3 garden areas out of the landscape timbers. We like the timbers much more. Glad to see other Floridians doing the same thing. I think the timbers/plants look very well together. I will have to post some pictures for you. Can’t wait to see the next phase!

-- Alex -- "I will one day write something intelligent, witty, or humorous here"

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2429 days


#2 posted 1055 days ago

Looking good.

I built a couple of small raised bed for my mother a few years ago, but they were only two timbers high. I wish I had building them up higher like yours are. Of course, I also used cut nails to fasten the timbers together versus the stake inside. I definitely wish I had done that since the nails didn’t drive into the lower timber deep enough to really do any good.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View hjt's profile

hjt

774 posts in 1772 days


#3 posted 1054 days ago

Alex – thatnks for the encouragement. The next installment will be coming soon.

Tom – Pam wanted it 5 high. I’m glad we did that as it gives more planting room and helps to create the design of patio. Ofcourse, you can always add more to your.

-- Harold

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2429 days


#4 posted 1054 days ago

Yeah, we could, but we’ve started using some clips from Lee Valley that make it pretty quick and easy. I’ll have to see if I can find some pics.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View hjt's profile

hjt

774 posts in 1772 days


#5 posted 1054 days ago

Would love to see the photos. Let me know when you post them.

-- Harold

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 2429 days


#6 posted 1054 days ago

Will do. They’re not really anything overly special, but we weren’t going for pretty :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

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