Backyard Oasis

So I am pretty sure I have mentioned this on more than one occasion, but my mom loves to sit outside. She has always loved sitting in the backyard in the summer and grilling. We have always had a table and chairs and an umbrella in the back. Recently my mom decided she wanted to be more comfortable out there. We have been doing a lot of house projects so we figured we could just add it to the list.

Originally we were thinking of adding a deck onto the back of the house. We have a small sun room so we figured we could build off from that. Well that is EXPENSIVE. So we thought why not just get a bunch of stones and do the same thing like a deck but made of stone. It was cheeper than a deck, but still very expensive. Also when we were looking at the bricks they were all very rough and not something you would want to walk around on all the time.

Finally my mom said she just wants a place to sit and not worry if it starts to rain. She suggested a gazebo so I looked up reviews for gazebos online. Most were not positive. They fell apart, ripped, flew away! Finally I found on at Lowe’s that had amazing reviews. We went there Mother’s Day weekend to check it out and fell in love with the size and features. Since they didn’t have any in stock at our local store we drove to another store and bought it. The box was too big for my car so we had it delivered. With scheduling conflicts it took about two weeks, but we finally got it.

Cheryl and I have half day Fridays so we decided to surprise our mom and put it up for her for the weekend. We had a lot of pieces to start out.

Cheryl and I pride ourselves on being pretty handy. We got to work organizing the pieces and reading the instructions. We started putting the sides and top pieces together and realized we would need a ladder and someone else to help. I assumed you put the top together then put it on the legs and lifted the legs up. You really had to build it standing and being short was not helping. Luckily my mom came home to help out a little.

We spent a lot of time standing on the ladder to put pieces together. Oh short people problems. Finally we had the frame done and had to work on the cover. That was a slight issue since it went OVER the gazebo. I did some finagling while standing on the very top of the ladder steps, but I was able to drape it down so it could get attached.

Then we had to hook all the side panels on. We liked this gazebo because it had a bug net but also a privacy screen on all four sides. Now if we don’t want to deal with bugs (or the annoying neighbors) we have options for how to close up the sides.

So now we had ourselves a very awesome gazebo. We also got an outdoor rug to put the table on. We had the gazebo up a week or two and decided that we just needed more. My mom liked to relax, but it’s hard to lounge sitting at a table. We went back to Home Depot to look at other outdoor seats when we came across some awesome tiles.

They were more expensive than stone tiles would have been, but they are made of recycled tires so they are soft and light. We decided to just go for it and got enough to cover under the gazebo. This is where the challenge started.

When we got home we tried to see if we could just lay the tiles down on the grass, but it was too plush and moved all over. We realized we were going to need to get rid of the grass under the gazebo. We started Saturday afternoon by using a knife and spades to cut the grass and then dig it out. It was a lot of work. We were barely getting anywhere. We decided to stop for the night when our family came over. We looked online into ways to remove grass, but the machines were either too heavy for us to get home or your grass had to be dead. So many issues.

Sunday morning I decided to head back to Home Depot and get a shovel. I decided that we needed to make the outside edge of the gazebo straight but anything inside we could just hack away at the grass and a shovel would be faster.

So we started digging, and digging, and digging. It was a good 4-5 hours of digging and a lot of grass to remove, but we finally got it all up.

Laying the tiles down was a lot easier. We figured out the first row and only had to cut off a little of the last tile to fit into our frame of cut out grass. The tiles are held together by clips underneath them. We spread sand down on the ground to stop more grass from growing up into the tiles. We put them down down by row. We made sure to even out the ground (as much as we could) so they were all flat and even.

And now we have a backyard oasis! We moved the table sideways and brought out two IKEA Poang chairs we had in the house that we don’t really use. Now we have a place to relax and read (or nap) and also a place to sit down and eat. My mom LOVES it out there. She has fallen asleep a few times and on the weekends when it is nice she barely comes inside at all.

We just bought some battery powered string lights for inside (since we don’t have outdoor power) and we are going to make a mason jar “chandelier” for them to hang into. I love our new backyard!


3 thoughts on “Backyard Oasis

  1. Pingback: Instagramming: June 2014 | The Simple Things

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