A Shelter From the Sun

Georgia is experiencing an odd combination of weather.  It can be angry hot or breezy eighties with a smattering of thunderstorms thrown in for good measure.   The weather has you heading for a shaded spot protected from the rain while still being outside.  The weather calls for a patio that is protected by a deck.  A patio that is similar to this:







Except that this patio sucks.  It’s basically gravel with a swing.  The swing is amazing.  It is sheltered from the sun and far enough back that you can stay out of the rain.  Getting to the swing is a different story.  It makes me feel like I’m guest starring  in an Indian Jones Adventure as the extra who get injured and killed off in the first five minutes.  You know, guy who falls into pit lined with spears.  That guy.  The unsteady gravel always makes you wonder what you’re going to drop first.  The laptop? the beer? Possibly twist an ankle?  It’s an ER bill waiting to happen.  This past weekend we decided to do something about it.

Last year we had responded to an ad on a local classified board giving away free cement tiles.  We hauled the tiles home, put them in the garage and tried to avoid eye contact with them for the past year.  It was time to let these guys fulfill their cement tile destinies.

We started by raking up the gravel and filling in any deep rivets with sand that we found in the garage.  There was already weed blocker fabric in place.

Then Mike started placing the tiles.

 We placed them in an alternating pattern because I like to make thing difficult believe that when lines line up it looks a little diy-ish.  Ironic, I know.  The alternating pattern meant that some stones had to cut in half. Mike did this using a chisel and hammer.  He basically chiseled in a line and had at it.  If you decide to do this, make sire to wear eye pro (eye protection) because little bots of cement tile fly everywhere.  And if you become blind because tile flew into your eye, it would be that much more difficult to place the tiles.

 Once the tiles were in place we swept the gravel into the crevices between the cement tiles. 

Then we squished the tiles in place to make sure they were stable.  It’s a very scientific process.

 Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy a beer or pink fizz on your new patio.

 Before                               &                                   After







For the budget minded folks – the patio was free.  The gravel and weed blocker fabric was already down.  We found some sand left over from last winter and the cement tiles were free from a neighbor.

Stay tuned.  The patio is not quite done yet.  We have some plans for lighting and stain.

Have you guys created any outdoor spaces lately?  Claimed any materials from Craigslist or other classifieds?



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