Sunday, September 11, 2011

Rocking up the Columns

I got the rock from Environmental Stone, and used a stone mason that they recommended.   It was a messy process, but they were on time and incredibly fast.

Plus, they had an excellent attitude!  Always smiling!
Now all we have to do is mount door hard ware, lights, and the top layer of the pergola.  

Then we will be onto fencing!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Building the Columns

I knew that making the columns was going to be a pain, because the concrete pad is on a slope from the driveway to the lawn, compounded by the slope of down hill from East to West.
But this is what Derek is REALLY good at!  Two decades of framing very large, expensive homes in Boulder have allowed him to see about everything and taught him how to make things work.
It took a day longer than Derek thought, but he postponed another job to get it all done to be ready for a stone mason that was between jobs.
Derek patiently suggested how to pre-set for the wall sconces, that would make it easy on the stone mason.   I had a different idea, but finally came around to the fact that his idea was much better.  We got a 2 by 12 rough cut cedar for the stone mason's to stone around and then we would put the wall sconces on latter.

No canned lights on this project - Ron  ;~)

Now it is time to put some rock on....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Hanging Gates

Derek comes up with some pretty cool ideas on how to do things.

First, he made this template on how everything would lay out on a 2 by 4.   So, no more constantly measuring things over and over.

Then, he clamped the gates where he wanted them, mounted hardware and welded up the supports up to the gates.

It worked pretty slick!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Stamped Concrete Pad to Transition to the Lawn

I used Chris with AtoZ construction to do my new rear parking lot last fall, and instantly liked the guy. 

So, I was very happy when he was nice enough to fit me in between other jobs he had going.
Even though there is a 6" drop from East to West, Chris was able to level up under where the gates go to only about an inch difference.
True to his word, Chris was at our house the next day at 6 am to seal the stamped concrete so Derek and I could start building the columns at noon.

Derek is also juggling several jobs and I wanted to catch him while he was available and the weather is still good.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Crested Butte Labor Day Weekend Trip

Joanne and I took off Thursday afternoon for  a Labor Day Weekend trip to Crested Butte, Colo.
The 4.5 hour drive down to Crested Butte from Golden is very pretty, and the scenery only gets better when one explores the sorrounding valleys out of town.

We 4wd, hiked, biked, strolled the town for great eats, and
breakfast at Izzy's every morning - one of the best bagel shops I have ever found.

It was a nice break from work and the back yard arbor project!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mounting Lam Beams

Mounting the lam beams was pretty easy with two people.  The only difficulty was getting the right number and right size of bolts, washers and nuts.   We are lucky to have so many Lowes and Home Depots close by!

Derek made a decorative cut on the cross beams, and then I spent a 12 hour day sanding it all.
The sanding was easy compared to staining everything.  I knew that was not going to be fun when Derek wasn't offering to help.

The penefin stain is really thin and is hard to not make a mess.  It was a long day, but I was happy on how it looked and happy to throw my clothes away.

The next step was pouring the concrete around the posts, 38 sxs.

Then leveling the pad underneath for stamped concrete.....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Start of our First Garden Harvest

This is our first year of trying to garden. 
 I built these raised planters and mixed in compost, peat moss, perlite & vermiculite, with regular soil.
The tomato plants have done fabulous, since I erected these make shift fences to keep the deer away.

I see gardening as a life time pursuit of learning, and with several failures along the way to hopefully learn from.

This year I planted too many zuchini
underestimated how much room squash take
planted not enough carrots
forgot radishes
the cauliflower, beans, and lettuce got decimated be the deer
I watered the herb garden too much and got nothing
Next year I will only plant two tomato plants instead of three

On the positive side, we have a bumper crop of tomatos and have been enjoying picking cherry tomato's and eating them while we pick them!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Framing the Arbor UP

The first step to the construction of the arbor was many hours of sketching, measuring, and planning on how to do it.

We decided on welding flanges on 4" steel beams for attachment points. 

The flanges were drilled with 9/16" holes for 1/2" galvanized carriage bolts to attach the lam beams.

Then 4" cross beams were welded to tie the two posts togethor.

Since the lam beams are arched, the flanges were tilted to fit the curve of the arch.  ( Very nice touch and planing by Derek - one of many :)
It took 2 days to dig 4 holes and chip away the concrete retaining wall base to get ready to set the poles.  Then it took all the two of us could muster to get them in the holes standing up.
We leveled them up by tipping them back and forth while dropping cobble stones along side.  When they were level and square we drilled, expoxied, and welded rebar along side the posts at the top of the holes.

That allowed us to still be able to tilt them back and forth while putting on the Lam Beams. 

Also the rebar would tie into the concrete pad that will be poured at the arbor base as a transition up the slope to the lawn.

We put electrical conduit in place to pull wires for wall sconces that will mount to the stone columns

Next step - install Lam Beams.....