A couple years ago, we had a landscape company come out to our condo and plant a bunch of new vegetation. Before that, we only had one kind of plant in front of our building. So once the growing season was done, we’d have a period in spring and fall where it was just a dirt patch that lined the front of our building. Not attractive. So the company planted vegetation that would grow at different times of the year (including shrubs that would remain green throughout winter). This way, we wouldn’t be left with that ugly dirt patch.
The one thing we didn’t have them do was a trim along the edge of the flower beds. We had thought that the natural transition to grass would be fine – plus, it saved the association a bunch of money to not have them do the trim.
After a couple years and an uneven grass line, we (my wife and I) decided we’d put in a brick trim. Taking cues from all the Home Depot and Lowe’s commercials, we got to “doing.”
After several trips to Home Depot to get 240 4.5-inch crescent edgers, 20 50-pound bags of leveling sand, a new wheelbarrow, gloves, a 2-foot level and shovels, we were ready to go – and I got a pretty good workout.
First, we laid out the brick in the way we wanted to set it. We were able to make sure we liked the look before any digging (much like the measure twice, cut once rule). Once we were satisfied with the placement, it was time to dig the trench for the bricks…
As I dug the trench, my wife followed behind, dumping in the leveling sand and keeping a base of at least an inch thick. We then put the edgers into place. Because of the shape of the edger (think Pac-Man-like), they “locked” into place. Using a rubber mallet, we tapped them down and used the level to make sure they were even.
The tricky part of the job was part of the front yard where, in the span of about 10 feet, there was a significant slope of about 4 inches. After looking at other homes that did similar work (some keeping the bricks level, others going with the slope of the ground), we decided to keep the pavers level. I think that just gives the yard a cleaner look. Luckily, I had dug deep enough at the highest point in the yard, so that when we got to the lowest point, the brick was only about an inch to an inch and a half above the grass line. At the highest point, the brick is level with the yard.
After about 16 hours of work, we were finished – and tired and sore. You tend to forget about all that, however, once you look upon something you did yourself and are proud of. I think that’s why I enjoy DIY projects – the sense of accomplishment you feel after a project well done. Plus, doing it ourselves saved the labor costs of hiring a company to do it.
So now that summer is upon us (sort of), what kind of projects around your house are you planning? We’d love to know. Or if you did a similar job, how’d you do it?