Tag Archives: sandpit

A brick wall to talk to

You don’t want to listen? Fine… I’d rather talk to the brick wall anyway. I’ll stop short of saying it’s better looking, but… well…

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…It is looking mighty fine!

After two long weeks I can finally share our finished brick stair wall. I even managed to wait patiently for the rain that was promised over the weekend, to wash all the orange dust away so I could show it to you at its best. It was hard… but worth the wait!

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I love it! Really, really love it! As it started to go up I thought “shivers, that’s really cutting our backyard in half!” But it’s perfect. It’s a big step in creating the outdoor spaces that we originally planned. Space for relaxing, space for playing, and space for storage and services.

There is still a fair bit to do to make these spaces more defined but this brick wall feels like the biggest step of all.

Next up we’ll be working on a steel framed pergola over the deck (which reminds me… I need to pick up the fittings for that today!) and closing in the gap under the deck. There’s so much useful storage under there so we’ll possibly not close it in entirely, or we’ll put an opening section in so the kids can easily get their toys in and out. Or at least out. It seems to be my job to tidy things away still, but I’m working on it!

Beyond that we need to decide how to approach the rather boring area where the kids sandpit and the plum tree currently sit. But we’re happy to mull that one over and don’t plan for anything to be happening there until next summer.

For now, I’m delighted to remember how far we’ve come in just 5 months. From this:

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to this:

0317_0035By the way, we got the door on in our bedroom! The predicted storm was less stormy than rainy, but it still kept us inside and got that done. It’s a small thing, but it’s big too yes?!

 

How to get sandy feet in 10 minutes…again

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Avoid eye contact with the renovation to do list and run away for the weekend to the beach!

Or…

You might remember last time we whipped up a ten minute DIY sandpit? We had to dismantle that one when we redid the lawn, and I’ve been feeling deprived (on behalf of my kids) since.

So once it was confirmed we didn’t need the blocks for our upcoming brick wall, I claimed them as mine and set about putting our world of play right again.

First I cleared and swept the area clean, then it’s a simple matter of laying down weedmat and placing the blocks on top. I used weedmat again because it keeps the sand from falling through the deck, but also because it makes for easier clean up when you need or want to pack it all up. This area of the backyard is still in development, so it’s unlikely the sandpit will stay beyond next summer (although I’ll probably incorporate a more permanent version into the plans!)

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We had weedmat and the blocks from last time, but we did need to buy some sand this time. 3 bags from Bunnings at $7 each barely cover the bottom of it but the kids are fine with that, and we’ll get some more at a cheaper rate once the trailer is emptied of it’s latest lot of builders mix.

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For shade and some colour, I’ve fixed the umbrella stand to the fence and we put the umbrella up when the sand pit is in play mode.

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0224_9806The kids are pretty pleased with the results, and I’m happy with anything that gets them outside in the fresh air for some creative play. It also adds a little something to the corner of the backyard that is looking the most neglected right now.

0224_9804We will more than likely build some sort of structure for play and/or shaded seating in this corner. But we need to wait for winter, and the dormant stage for our plum tree before we can uproot it and try and transplant it into that giant concrete planter. Then we may need to strengthen that odd little triangle piece of deck before we add more planters right across in front of the back fence. I would also dearly love to turn the expanse of concrete into crazy paving, but it’s not just so easy to smash it up. Apparently. We might have to go for plan B involving pebbles.

0224_9820The very next thing out here though will be the brick wall. The footing is completed and I’ve just had word from our bricklayer that he’s scheduled us in for next week. Can’t wait to see the last pile of materials sitting around the backyard to transform into something useful. Maybe that will help erase the memory of two weekends spent waterblasting every. single. brick. on. every. single. side.

What also helps is feeling like we are at the point in this renovation project where we can look around and really see how much has changed – not just how much we need to do. Does that mean we’re on the downhill side? I think it might! Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!

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Ten minutes of work…

… hours of fun!

In the midst of the patio happenings we got all impulsive with a ten minute project using only materials to hand. It started with a problem… which was a pile of leftover sand right by the front door.

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Entirely my problem… noone else was getting upset at sand being tracked into the house. But despite that, everyone was happy to pitch in with this project. Mama wanted the sand elsewhere, Dad didn’t want to have to dump it, and kids were excited about the end result.

A sand pit!

One minute of discussion later we had it sorted where we’d put it, and how we’d make it. At two minutes the area was raked clear of leaves. Four minutes had the weed mat cut and blocks on their way up from the back of the garage. Six minutes had them laid and kids climbing in.

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Nine minutes had it full of sand, ten minutes had plants in the planter boxes, sand toys and kids all in and Andre and I standing back and saying “did we just do that?!”

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It’s since had a plywood cover made (which is just lifted on and off as required) and the succulent cuttings are still alive in their bed of sand – perhaps they like it? I’m just as surprised that they haven’t been pulled out.

Because we have plans to redo the lawn in a few weeks time, this was intended as a temporary set up but I think we’ll all be a bit sad to deconstruct it…

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