Monday, November 12, 2007

Our Limestone Patio- 200 hours of work!

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The front part of our backyard, with two apple trees, an old picnic table, and a large quantity of gravel and wood chips. Oh, and 12 bottle caps, a rusty spring, a door hinge, a bunch of broken glass, including the bottom of a beer bottle, and more!

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What a great workbench that picnic table makes! It is serving as jack-of-all-trades in our house remodel. Notice the wonderful "gate" into our backyard, too... the vinyl lattice we wired up!

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How we did it:
We are very lucky to have access to a large scrap pile of stone, from which we can pick whatever we want and have it delivered for the price of a case of Negra Modelo or Bass Ale. My father-in-law runs and owns an architectural stone cutting shop. He works on multi-million dollar houses. We get the rejects, overages, and off falls!

The patio is made out of Cottonwood limestone. It is all from the waste pile, where it was headed to be ground into aggregate. It is approximately 3 to 4 inches thick, and sitting on a bed of about 3 inches of sand. It is framed in with recycled railroad ties that are dug into the ground and anchored below the frost line with 3 foot rebar. We used a circular saw with a diamond blade to dry cut the limestone, and used a belt sander with garnet sandpaper to finish the stone.

We went through a LOT of sandpaper, and a LOT of beer. A long, HOT project!

Where the materials are from:
Railroad ties- Freecycle
Limestone, Diamond Blades- Father-in-law's shop and waste pile
Sand, Sandpaper, Rebar- Home Depot

What we spent:

$20 for a case of beer for my dear father-in-law
$200 for sand and rebar
$10 or so for gas to haul the railroad ties
$40 in sandpaper
$270 total cost for patio!


Kristen said...

I am so impressed! It looks fantastic and it was sooo cheap!

Where are you guys located?

Dulcie said...

Nice job! Where did you guys get the railroad ties?
We're planning on doing our patio, probably with flagstone, in the spring.

Jennifer said...

Thanks all! We were very happy with the cost overall... found a cheaper place after the fact to get sand, but you can't get everything right on the first project!
We got the railroad ties from a person who was replacing the landscaping in their garden. They were in great condition and unrotted, and FREE! We found them through freecycle.
Flagstone will look nice... we are actually going to do a smaller "rustic" patio with some slabs of limestone in the back... we want to knock the edges down to have a random edge like flagstone. That will be a next summer project, however!
We are in Northern Colorado, in the smaller city of Loveland.

Dulcie said...

Cool! You probably saw, but I am a stone's throw from you in Longmont. I'd love to know where the cheap sand place is, because we'll need to get sand for our patio!

Jennifer said...

I did see that you were in Longmont! You have such a nice little downtown/old house area down there.

We stupidly bought sand in the little 50 lb bags at Home Depot... it's MUCH cheaper to go to a stone/rock business like Pioneer (I think that is down by you?) and buy it in bulk and haul it yourself, if you have a beat up old truck like we do for these purposes! The patio was the first thing we did... we've learned a lot since then about buying building/landscaping supplies! (Like, Home Depot is rarely cheaper than your local store).

dan said...

LOVE the limestone!
love the cost, too!

Hallie&Joe said...

Wow! I can't believe how nice this is!
I'm so impressed.