Thursday, July 18, 2013

Checkerboard Patio!

The (mostly) finished checkerboard patio project!
I am going to tell you right now that this whole post is really a case study in just how cheap I am. Let's keep a running tally of what I spent on this project, okay?

 I saw a lovely checkerboard patio on Pinterest over a year ago, and I decided that I was going to have one - albeit, more "my" style, as in, less refined. What I mean by that is, when I do landscaping, I like it to look like it was civilized, like, 1,000 years ago and I just uncovered it or something. Rustic, I guess.

Anyway, that first picture is the (mostly) finished checkerboard patio that me, my Tommy Lee, and the kids put together over the weekends for the past month. I need to finish painting the table, a task I might get to this weekend... or maybe not.

The picture to the right is what I started with: a relatively flat (hahahahaha!) plot of ground and 110 12"x12" concrete pavers I got off Craigslist for $80 plus $20 in gas to a friend for hauling them in his truck. So, we're at $100 so far.

 As you can see from this picture, the ground really isn't all that level. It rolls.

 I tried to get everybody to lay them out corner to corner, but I wasn't after perfection, just neatness. After all, I wanted it to (eventually) look like some ancient civilization made this thing and I found it and utilized it. And that's why I didn't dig up the whole area, fill with sand, level, add dirt between the bricks, and sod over it. Well, that, and I am very, very, very cheap.

 So, then, for our anniversary, Tommy Lee bought me a patio umbrella, so I needed a table for it. So, my Tommy Lee started building me one out of scrap lumber my dad brought home from the mill he works at and Redwood decking boards that we got for free from Craigslist. The umbrella was on sale for $40 and we spent $30 in gas to get the decking boards in Spokane. Total spent: $170.

 Because I didn't want to pay to have the ground leveled or have sand brought in, my son and I dug the pavers down until they were flat with the ground and relatively level. You can see in this pic to the right where we've sunk down the pavers underneath the table's base.

 With the table finished (Tommy Lee spent three days in his spare time building it... maybe over building it, as it takes 3 to 4 strong guys to move it), we stuck in the umbrella to see what it looked like.

 Super cute, right?

And then we finished sinking in all the pavers...

 Added some lights, which I already had from the wedding...

 And some cute colored LED lights we bought on clearance at Target ($20). Total spent: $190.

 My camera decided it didn't want to take decent pictures of the lights at night, even though it will take pictures of lightning and the moon behind clouds and whatever.

 It's really pretty all lit up like that; these pictures don't do it justice.
 Played with the camera settings a little and got a slightly better photo. **Le Sigh**

 I went back out the next day and took some more pictures after adding some flowers in pots ($15). Total spent: $205.
 And then we painted a tire (free... had it just hanging around) teal and white ($7 for spray paint... total spent: $212.
 And I planted a bunch of annuals in it. The plants were on clearance at the local greenhouse. I got a bunch of marigolds and several kinds of daisies, fuchsia, and some snapdragons.

 Total for the new flowers? $15. Total spent: $227.
 I then spray painted stripes on the table base with spray paint. It took one can of orange paint, one can of teal (what was left over from the tire), and three cans of white. Paint cost: $20 (not counting the teal, which I already counted). Total spent: $247.
 I spent $10 at the dollar store to put in solar lights around the perimeter. Total spent: $257.
So that's it. I painted some glass jars I have been saving for another project with the leftover paint, so I need more paint to finish painting the top and base of the table, which Tommy Lee says that he has somewhere, but he's been busy working, so I sort of have to wait for him.

I have a couple more things to do out there, but I really love how it turned out, and it cost less than $300 to do it.