Monday, September 23, 2013

I lost my battle

A couple weeks ago, I came home from work to find this. 
After begging the city inspector, my alderman, the mayor, and everyone else who would listen, nobody gave two shits about saving my walkway but me.  And rather than try to grind through the high edge or cut off the offending portion, I lamely decided that maybe they would forget about it and leave me alone.  Dumb.  I especially love how one of the concrete guys left their lunch plate in the hole.  
So, I hastily crafted a note to stick in the dirt that said DO NOT POUR CONCRETE IN HERE OR I WILL CLAW YOUR EYES OUT.  Or maybe it said, NO CONCRETE - WE ARE PLANTING GRASS.  One of the two.  Then, because I'm not a normal person, I didn't plant grass.  I did this.  
When my dad and I got the supplies back to our house, Shaun started unloading the truck, muttering about what a stupid idea this was, and that we should just plant grass.  
I cried in frustration because I knew it was going to suck to do all the work, but I just felt that my house DESERVED another flagstone walkway.  It was a part of this house, and I wanted to give it back.  So, after another run to get more gravel, we did this. 
Then I gave my baby foot long stakes to play with.  
Like the heaviest puzzle ever, we have been busting our butts with these stones.  So far, we have sunk $85 into replacement flagstones, and $80 in gravel, edgers, stakes, and sand.  Luckily, we have a nice supply of flagstone in our backyard, so we were able to 'shop at home' for this project.  At the end of one full day, this is the progress we made:
I WAS PLEASED.  Of course nothing is ever easy with this crap, the ground on the left side of the walk is much higher than the right, so we will have to chop some earth away to level it out.  We also have some very large gaps in between the stones, so we are going with sand in the joints rather than mortar to avoid cracks and things like that.  One plus side to doing all this work is the big sand box we had for a couple weekends!
The simple 'how to' we followed was:
Insert combination of 3/8 and 1/4 inch traffic bond gravel into hole until you feel you have enough.  This is very scientific.  
Tamp with hand tamper (we are cheap, but a rental works much better!)
Measure out 39-inch-wide walkway and stake edgers in place on top of gravel.
Add a layer of sand and start picking stones - we used the ones with the more uniform thickness and straightest edge on the sidewalk and curb ends.  Those are the ones the inspector will check for level. 
Add and take away sand until massive stones are level with previous ones. 
The END.
jk, we are not done yet.  Not even close.  But it is going to be worth it!


  1. How rude, city! Do you know if they'll leave you alone now if the new flagstone walk is nice and level? I hope they don't get all sassy and make you replace it with plain concrete after all that work!

  2. Oh no, the inspector was fine with us replacing it with flagstone. We got a permit, and he will come check our work when we are done. As long as it is level with the sidewalk, we should be good!

  3. AHHHHH that sucks. I'm glad you re-did it with the stone pathway though.

  4. Sucks to have to redo the work but it does look great.

  5. Well it will be so pretty when its done! I love the part where you gave your baby the stakes to play with. I'm that mom too.

  6. Ugh. Cities seriously piss me off. I mean, they truly have NOTHING BETTER TO DO THAN TEAR THIS OUT? So annoying.

    Last winter, the city showed up across the street at our rental property and chopped down a tree on the easement with the street. No warning. Then, they left the tree there FOR FOUR MONTHS while I called every week making a stink. I was seriously livid.

  7. And I'm totally sorry for turning that entire comment into Kim-land.

    I do love your new walkway so far. It's going to be so much better than grass.

  8. i'm glad you're putting it back, but gah, what a pain.

    the little guy looks ADORABLE as usual, btw.


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