Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Get Grillin’

My friends gifted me with a nice gas grill a few years ago for my birthday.  I’ve always kept it in the small patch of grass next to my patio so that it was out of the way and still easy to access when needed.  I finally decided that rather than keep moving the blasted thing to mow I would make a grill patio of sorts.  I don’t know what I was thinking.

The first step involved deciding how big of an area to turn into the grill patio and then digging up the existing grass.  One would think that this was the worst part…I’m not going to lie – it sucked but it wasn’t the worst part.  Here’s the space after I dug up the grass.

IMG_3271Notice the grass pile in the back.  Our yard waste pick-up company doesn’t like when you throw sod in the compost bags/bins but I decided that I would attempt to dispose of it through them anyway – four yard waste bags later and it was gone. (It took four bags since the grass/dirt is so heavy and they have a limit as to how heavy your waste bags can be.  Trust me – I know.)

The next step was to level the area as best as I could.  I’m not gonna lie – I didn’t do the best job at this since I never even broke out the level.  I did it by eye.  That’s right- I’m a rebel. Once the area was level I placed weed blocker down (the black plastic stuff that *should* prevent weeds from growing though it never truly works 100%).  Well, okay – it sat with nothing done to it for about three weeks while I figured out what to do to the area. 

One day when I was pulling up to my house I realized just how much I hated the landscape rocks lining one side of my driveway.  When I bought the house I placed some stepping stones in the area to make it a little nicer but I never loved it.  It was at that moment that I knew what I wanted to do.  I’m going to blame the heat on my bright idea since if I was to do it over again I would have left well enough alone.

Instead I ran to Home Depot to buy some 12x12 red pavers.  When I got home I laid out the pavers (over the weed blocker) in a grid.  The next step was to scoop up the rocks into a bucket and carry them from the driveway to the patio area – one bucket at a time for a few hours. This was a long and tedious project that resulted in a sprained wrist.  That’s right – I sprained my wrist by scooping up rocks.  See – I should have stopped…I will never again listen to an idea I had when the heat messes with my logical thinking. I will also never attempt any kind of massive yard project when it is sunny and 90 degrees outside.

IMG_3423Since my leveling wasn’t perfect, I had to level a few pavers by placing dirt and/or flat rocks underneath them so they didn’t shimmy.  The grid isn’t perfect but it works for me and let me tell you – I’m not touching it!


IMG_3452I have the patio storage that I bought last year along the house…

IMG_3453  and the grill facing the back yard.

IMG_3462 I bought a new planter and hooks from Home Depot to hang my herbs so that they get enough sun but not too much (like they did last year when they were in front of the garage).

IMG_3455 Here’s a final close-up of the rocks (ignore the leaves – it just finished raining):

IMG_3464 I could have used more pavers but I stuck to nine for two reasons – 1) it was cheaper that way and 2) it would have been hard to line them up so that the grill was on a paver so I figured rocks at both ends only would work best and I think I was right.

Sami wanted to check out my handi-work.

IMG_3461 That’s how I turned some free rocks that I used to hate and $11 worth of pavers into a new grill patio.  Seriously, if I had to do it again I’d leave the rocks where they were and call it a day but I think it looks great and it makes me happy that I no longer have to mow there plus I can stand on something other than grass/dirt to grill up some burgers. Anyone else make a grill patio?

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