Thursday, 8 June 2017
Our neighbour has recently replaced the retaining wall behind his house and as a result he had a lot of pine sleeper offcuts. He was piling these up right next to where I was pulling out ivy a few weeks ago so I noticed he had quite a supply of both long and short lengths of timber.
Some weeks earlier I'd been thinking about how to make the path on the side of our house a bit nicer - it's just a gravel space next to the external wall and the gravel isn't very nice to walk on - especially with bare feet. I'd sort of given up on doing anything as purchasing pavers, sleepers or anything else was going to become very expensive very quickly and it wasn't worth a whole lot of cash to change it.
Then I saw Geoff's sleepers..and had an idea. He was happy to give them to me to save him a tip load, and I was very happy to take them. There was a mixture of long sections and short sections so I had to find a pattern that could accommodate both and also stretch the length of the wall - my final solution used every single piece he gave me!
As I was doing this on the cheap I didn't want to pay for any sand (which is a very handy resource when laying any sort of paver), so I just had to excavate the existing gravel with a mattock and a selection of spades. It was hard work laying every single paver as I needed to take into account the slope of the ground (8 degrees) and lay each paver the same depth. I used an app on my phone and a giant level to help me with this. Also I tried to heed my string lines but it was difficult with all the different widths!
It's taken about 2 weeks to lay all the pieces bit by bit and the result isn't perfect but I am pretty happy with it! I ended up spending $70 on a tin of decking oil to extend the life of the treated pine), but that was it.