7.06.2017

Backyard Walkway

Holy shit. Has it really been two months since I've checked in on what's happening in the yard with the whole hot tub build out? A lot and nothing has been happening since then.


I am very happy to report that after a three week hiatus, yes 3 weeks, my contractor was back today to finish up the hot tub surround and the big built in bench. The delay was caused by the wrong wood being ordered which had a three week lag time. Derp.

In the mean time, I've been building a wooden walkway that leads from the patio to the shed. I'm using recycled cedar fencing laid atop pressure treated rails. As part of this project, I replaced some of my fence which is really nice and gray and weathered, which is the look I'm going for with the walkway.

I want the walkway to be very low. I buried these 2x6x16 so that the runners on top stand two inches proud from the dirt. The pressure treated wood is graded for ground contact. I am very curious to see how long these things last before they degrade. Mine are UC4A (which is what most big box stores sell), which is ok for ground contact but not burial -which is what I have done. UC4B or UC4C rating is what's needed for burial and my store didn't have that. Because this is not structural I'm not concerned about this ratings business. 

Trench digging always results in rock removal. My lot has so many rocks, both naturally occurring and from the building process (random broken fill). I obsessively remove.

I used a level to make sure that my rails (plus the thickness of the plank) were even with the concrete (hopefully no toe stubbage happening here) and that the two rails were also level with each other. A couple of my 2x6s were a bit warped. I measured off the wall (which is true because it runs the property line) to keep them as parallel as possible.

After my rails were in and I started laying down my fence planks, we noticed that some of them really flexed under the weight of the walker. I don't think any of them would have broken but it was an easy solution to lay a pressure treated 2x4 on the grade, right down the center. 

Because my 2x6 rails are not 100% straight, I used a line (again measured off the wall) as my guide for laying the fence boards. Basic principles of division of labor rang true here. It was far more efficient to cut many boards at once and then mark and screw them in, although the temptation to see the boards in place had me build in 16 foot sections. 


Want to look like a pro? A knot in the extension and drill cords will prevent the two from detaching -even when pulled a long distance.


An unintended yet inevitable consequence of his hot tub project has been that we needed to bring in more top soil and many of my plants needed to me moved or torn up. This makes me marginally uncomfortable. I hate ripping up plants. My really large rosemary bushes had to be taken out and were too big to save. Some of the feather and maiden grass have survived their transplants. 

And thankfully the two apple trees that were moved (one of them twice!) survived! 

This makes me so happy. I hope they get enough sun in their new location. I have been buying plants one carload at a time and can't wait to get them in the ground starting this weekend! 

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