Monday, January 31, 2011


I've become a bit obsessed with bricks.

I've decided I want to pave a section of our front yard for a parking area...and why not do the the back patio area too. That way Lady can run around the soon to be courtyard and not create a mud pit.

What I found out after getting excited about paving both these areas is that bricks are expensive. I estimated I needed at least 1,300 and they're normally $.25-$1 each, which doesn't seem like much until multiplied by 1,300. So I decided I'd keep a lookout for old brick piles here and there and collect them. (let me know if you have some or see some!)

Then I found the jackpot. It got me my first 400 or so bricks.

The old Alamo Motel being torn down had a big pile of bricks and wire and concrete and general debris in amongst the bulldozers and dump trucks. After assuring myself I was not being insane I drove up onto the destruction site, asked the dump truck driver if I could "take a few bricks for my garden," and filled the mini truck. The guy kept saying "now don't hurt yourself!" He had no idea who he was talking to. And I wasn't even in impractical girly shoes. I was wearing my boots!

That's 163 bricks.

A few days later Marco and I went back for more.

This pile was much smaller then the original one I picked bricks from, but it was all bricks so it was easier.

You can see where the bricks used to all be, where they're being torn off the wall.

We had to stop loading when I noticed the car was riding really really low. Compare:

Normal tire to wheel well clearance in the front

Tire about the touch the top of the wheel well in the back! We drove really slow and avoided potholes all the way home.

That load got about 180 bricks.

It took few days of work but we got the back patio laid.
Here's the yard before, with a futon couch frame out there in quite the useless messy area.

This is a pot that someone set down probably 10 years ago and forgot. Now the little plant in that pot has completely grown through the bottom with huge roots going into the ground and a trunk so big it's busting the plastic open. There's two of these side by side. We tore the old pot off the other one and will get this one off soon too.

First we had to dig out the grass and gravel and dirt, then lay the bricks down, then fill the cracks with dirt.

After a couple days working a couple hours each day we got it almost done. I decided that instead of filling the whole area with bricks (which would mean finding more because we were running out) that we would end it with a curve and leave space got plants and grass.

After about 6 hours of work total, and a few good helpers, it's done. I don't seem to have a photo of the finished thing though, and everything outside is covered with and inch of ice and 6 inches of snow right now so as soon as it melts I'll take a photo and put it up here. Suffice to say, it's beautiful.

Now we just need about a thousand more bricks and we can do the front.

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