Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Short VAST Paver Walkway

We had a few pavers leftover from the driveway project, so we decided to put them to good use. Today was a good day to work on home projects, because we needed good weather to change a big patio door, so while it rained and blew the guys filled in the afternoon playing with the VAST Pavers. While I ran around looking over several projects around town Kurt and Jud woked on a short walkway that will connect our lower deck to the stairs that lead down from the upper deck.

While Jud was finishing up a bit of window trim on our latest weatherization job Kurt got the ground ready. Here is a birds eye view of Kurt laying out the gird.

Along with doing our best to build as green as we can we love to use local woods, so it seemed appropriate to use Alaskan yellow cedar to edge this walkway. Of course the deck is all Alaskan yellow and red cedar so connecting the stairs to the lower deck with yellow cedar edging was the right thing to do.

Jud lays the last of the pavers.

Jud has a way of putting in the extra effort to finish a job. So, minutes before quitting time he marks and gets ready to cut the last paver. Well not the last, because we are going to do a small inlay in this walkway too. More photos will follow soon.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pavers are Done

On Sunday in pouring rain Connie and I finished the pavers for our parking area on the street side of our home. After working with the VAST Pavers I’m very impressed with the thought that went into the design of this unique product.

The inlaid compass rose

When people find out that these pavers are made from recycled plastic bottles and rubber tires they tend to be as impressed too.

It was a lot of work, but well worth it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Recycle Center

In early January Jud helped me finish a project that I started about a year ago. At my age I like to sit down to put on shoes and we needed someplace to store recyclable stuff before taking it to the recycle center. So, I decided to build a bench that would open up where the recyclable stuff could be stored. Better yet the bench was made mostly with left over wood from various projects.

I love aromatic red cedar, so I have to admit that I did give into an impulse buy urge at the lumber yard. Other than the cedar and the maple that lines the lid all the rest of the bench was made from left over wood.

Jud installs the trim on the bottom of the bench.

The main part of the bench is made out of a leftover sheet of ¾ inch teak plywood that we had left over from the boat the we built. I have been storing this plywood since 1990. So, it was about time I found a project for it.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Getting Ready For Gardening

Last summer I grew nasturtiums in the far box. At the end of the season I found out that nasturtiums are eatable and I’m told they are very tasty. So, we added another box and this year we will not only grow nasturtiums for the beauty of a flower box, but for food too.

The best place for sun on our property is at the lakes edge, hence the new yellow cedar garden boxes that are mounted on the side of the dock.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Truck

Here are some photos of the new truck parked on the VAST Pavers

People are still stopping in to admire the pavers. When I tell them that the pavers are made from recycled plastic bottles and tires most people are very surprised.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

More Pavers

This past week we had several interruptions but we did get more of the VAST Pavers laid. Below are some photos from the past week.

Kurt lays more grid in preparation for the pavers.

As is often the case with me, I changed my mind in the middle of a project. I had planned to do more concrete work, but the pavers looked so good I figured why not do an additional 200 sq feet of them? So, the project is now on hold until more pavers arrive and time and weather let us get back to the job. (This time of year our days start getting longer very quickly. In fact we are gaining more than 3 minutes a day right now. By the time the pavers get here there will be enough light for me to work a couple of hours each evening on the project.)

The compass rose is done. Several people have stopped by to say how much they think the compass rose adds to the project. And, I agree. It was a lot of work, but well worth it.

Grandsons Nate and Blake stop in to lend a hand laying paver. Both boys had been by the week before and both boys had lots of fun putting pavers down. 3 year old Nate had a little trouble with the herringbone concept, but 7 year old Blake caught right on and was soon laying pavers as fast as the rest of us.

Nate shows off his new pink backpack, that he will wear on the kids upcoming 6 week trip to Malaysia. I have never seen a little boy who loves to play with trucks more than this kid, but he also loves pink. He says it is his favorite color.

My trusty 2001 Toyota Tacoma stands ready to deliver one last load of tools to a job site on Monday. As of Monday, my new 2010 double cab Tacoma will be in town and this great truck will transfer into the trusty hands of Jud. (Now that is the way to keep the truck coming to the job site, sell it to one of your employees!)

Connie stands in the middle of the compass rose and shows off her new Lady Bug clogs.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

VAST Pavers

It’s been a long time since I have updated anything on this blog. I guess I got too busy, and possibly I was a tad bored with blogging. But, this latest project of doing our parking area in VAST Composite Pavers has me excited enough to take some time on this rainy Saturday afternoon to upload some photos from the project.

One day while reading an online article about Green Building I came across an advertisement for VAST Pavers. When I saw that the pavers were made out of recycled tires and plastic bottles I got excited. Not only do I love the look of pavers, but here was a Green paver, which is in contrast to the more traditionally concrete pavers. Connie and I knew we wanted to do something attractive with our parking area and here was the solution of doing it in a green way. I got so excited I asked VAST to be their dealer here in Sitka and the agreed. In fact Southeast Cedar Homes is now the 1st dealer in Alaska and this is the first time VAST Pavers have been used in Alaska. I’m going to be working hard to make sure that it is not the last time these very cool pavers are used here in Alaska!

The D-1 gravel has been removed and 1" minus drain rock has been added.

Forms are being built and rebar is being added.
Almost ready to pour.

We ordered brown dye for the concrete so I was a bit surprised to see that is was red. Here is how we get the wrong color. When I ordered the dye Stacy at Sitka Ready Mix told me to look online and get the number for the color off the color charts. So, I did and told her that the number was 160. So when the wrong color showed up I went back online to see who’s mistake it was. Can you believe that the website showed two #160’s? Yip, you guessed it there is a mistake on the website and if I had to bet I’d guess the real number should have been 1600. Oh, well once the concrete was mixed and we were ready to pour I figured the red would be just fine. And, I think it is.
Fortunately my son Zach in the red shirt showed up to help us pour. And, of course it was raining.

I have to give praise where praise is due. Sitka Ready Mix's driver Daryl is the best!

I have poured a lot of cement over the years and I have to say that I use to hate it. I think that was because the cement truck driver’s always were putting pressure on everyone to hurry up and get the job done. In fact I’d have to say that most of the past drivers I have worked with were usually total jerks. But, not Daryl. He is by far the best cement truck driver that I have ever been around, and I’d have to say the hardest working one too. Daryl takes all the pressure off the guys that are pouring and he makes the job go smoothly. I’d also bet that he is more efficient than any of the Hurry Up Drivers. In fact I know he is.

Speaking of giving praise where praise is due I also have to say what good employees I have. Here you see Jud and Kurt stacking all the pavers in the garage in readiness for installation.

Jud is the guy with the stack of pavers and the big smile on his face. Jud is not only one heck of a nice guy, but he can out work 2, maybe 3 guys any day of the week. He is one of those very rare guys who thrives on hard work, and seems to love it.

Now that is one heck of a stack of pavers!

The first pavers are starting to go down on the interlocking grid work. Note that the grids are on top of a permeable ground cloth. This will keep the fine sand from eventually leaching into the drain rock. Which could keep the drain rock for doing the job of draining the parking area.

This is the progress of laying pavers after the first 6 hours of laying them.

We are starting to cut out the compass rose .

Jud glues down the pavers on the edge of the cut. And, in the background you can see one of the other Sitka contractors stopping in to see what the heck we are doing.

The compass rose is starting to take shape.

I’ll be posting more photos as the job progresses.