Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The east end of the house - Stone Patio and Fire Pit

Way back when we excavated to build the house we ended up with lots of rocks. And since we live in the Adirondacks, when I say rocks, I mean ROCKS!

Lots of big rocks
A lot of them were large and quite a few of them were simply huge. One in particular caught my eye and I convinced our excavator I was not insane for wanting him to carefully place it next to the house foundation. 
The future buffet rock
We worked around that sassafrassing rock all during the build.
No food on it yet
But I had a vision. A clear picture of how I wanted the east end of the house to look and function. And that rock was a big part of it. The east end would serve as our outdoor entertaining area. A natural stone patio, a sand pit with fire ring, comfortable chairs, a pizza oven, and by God, a buffet rock. 

Way back in 2015 we actually got a good start on the stone patio. We even ran a water line to the garden under it.

Then I hurt my shoulder and we took a year off for it to fully heal (yes, it took that long). Then we decided other projects and adventures had priority and we put it off for another year. Finally, we got back to it and got it done! Chris deserves all the credit for the rock laying since he forbade me from helping this time (apparently that shoulder injury bothered both of us). 

Connecting the house to the buffet rock
Then buffet rock to sand pit
The rocks he brought in to create the sand pit were huge. Some are tall enough to serve as seats, others create a smooth transition from the patio.
Sand pit ring taking shape
 The sand pit is about 20 feet in diameter and took close to 7 tons of sand to fill.
Huge sand pit - tractor (and shovel) for scale
You come off the porch onto the stone patio that reaches back 40 feet to the rear of the house. Then it's 18 feet to the sand pit. We seriously depleted the defensive perimeter to lay this thing!
We'll plant grass outside the stones
I dug up some ground cover growing elsewhere on the property and started seeding it between the stones. I have no idea what this stuff is, but it's already starting to spread.
Eventually it'll be an ocean of green with islands of stone
Once we had the sand pit done we needed to create the fire ring. I found the center, did a bit of digging, some stone laying of my own, and then got the ring in place.
Digging the fire hole

Laying the air intake pipe
Stones around to help with erosion
Stones protecting the air intake pipe 
The view from the porch
I put a few chairs around the fire pit, got a good fire going, and enjoyed the evening. It's all coming along quite nicely.


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