Monday, November 18, 2013

IT'S TIME TO GET STONED!


The weekend of the 4th of July we got our big delivery! Six pallets of slate.



With each pallet weighing in at around 2800 pounds, the delivery maxed out the trucks capacity (and easily overwhelmed these two DIYers).


The stone is called California Gold, a slate paver that we ordered from American Soil and Stone, and that came from Sui Stone. We were excited to see that it came to us direct from India, and was inspected by Satish (who quickly became a real character in our story... we pondered about who he was, and even cursed his name more than once).


The decision to order this stone was a tough one. Natural stone has so many disadvantages compared to manufactured pavers. It is expensive for one. It's also not as durable, needs to be sealed, is prone to flaking, the thickness can vary from stone to stone, and is heavier; all of which make it difficult to work with.

But it's just so darn pretty.


We looked at many options before ordering this stone, from concrete pavers to flagstone, but I always kept going back to the California Gold option, which was on display at American. I loved the color pallet of gray, gold and rust, along with the texture (so different from many concrete pavers). Another thing that pulled me in this direction was that each stone would be unique, and our patio would be one of a kind.

So, we bit the bullet and ordered the stone on our June 25th second wedding anniversary as a gift to each other. The stone cost us over $6000, easily the most expensive piece of our yard renovation, but we knew that we would be saving thousands by installing it ourselves.


Each crate came with 160 square feet of stone, already divided into the Versai Pattern, which you can see above. We liked the idea of doing a patterned stone over flagstone because we wouldn't have to make too many decisions about the way the puzzle pieces would fit together, we could simply follow the repeating pattern.


We got right to work, bringing back two pallets worth of stone to get us started, and piled it along the back fence.

These suckers are not easy to move. The 16x16 stones, which were the most common, weigh about 40 pounds each! We quickly realized that completing this patio would be a physically demanding project.


But it was one we were looking forward to. We liked the idea that we would be finally "finishing" the patio project after months of trenching, and irrigation, and grading. I happily stated (before the stone arrived) that "with four long days of work over the holiday weekend, we'd be finished by Sunday"!

Oh how very wrong I was.

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