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Front entrance makeover!!!!

To continue with our curb appeal theme….

Siguiendo con la fachada de la casa….

I couldn’t fix the walkway without fixing the “brick patio” we had as an entrance. This thing was just the worst ever – again, just bricks set on top of the dirt, all uneven, dirty and ugly looking (not to mention it was a danger to Leslie’s grandma and anyone trying to walk into our house from the front entrance!).

No podia arreglar el sendero sin arreglar nuestra “pseudo” entrada. Esta cosa era de lo peor – de nuevo, ladrillos puestos encima de la tierra, disparejos, sucios, se veian mal (sin mencionar que era peligroso para la abuela de Leslie y cualquiera que intentara usar esa entrada de la casa, era una pista de obstaculos!)

After watching a bunch of youtube videos about laying brick patios with crushed rock and sand,I went for it and the result turned out pretty good. Here is a picture of the “before”…..

Luego de mirar un monton de video en youtube sobre como instalar ladrillos usando roca molida y arena, lo intente y el resultado fue bastante bueno. Aqui va una foto del “antes”…

I dug out all the bricks first and dug up the area I would use to lay the new brick patio. It was actually very difficult to dig the hole even though it wasn’t very deep or big…we had SOOOO many roots that made it a very annoying task. I conquered the roots thanks to my best friend Mr. Pick Axe! I am telling you, if you need to dig difficult stuff….that’s the tool you need (though Leslie and I recommend the ones with fiberglass handles…we went through 2 with wood handles pretty fast this summer when we dug up our hedges in the back of the house – see the photos below of the pick-axe wreckage). I decided to create a wood frame to keep the bricks in place – I made some measuring mistakes….but hey anything would look better than the old entrance!

Desenterre todos los ladrillos primero y empeze a escabar el area que iba a usar para los nuevos ladrillos. Fue bien dificil escabar porque el lugar tenia muchas raices lo que hizo la tarea lenta y cansadora. Pero gracias a mi amiga Pica conquiste la raices! Te digo, si tienes que escabar en un lugar dificil …esa es la herramienta que necesitas (aunque Leslie y yo recomendamos las que tienen mango de fibra de vidrio….los dos quebramos picas con mango de madera esta verano trabajando en sacar matorrales -aqui van alguna fotos). Decidi crear un marco de madera para mantener los ladrillos en su lugar y sin moverse – cometi unos errores en mis medidas…pero no importo porque cualquier cosa seria mejor que la entrada que teniamos!

After setting the frame I tamped the ground pretty good to ensure a leveled area.

Despues de poner el marco, aplaste la tierra lo mejor posible para que quedara nivelado el lugar.

Then I put lansdcaping fabric on the bottom to prevent any weeds growing through the brick.

Luego puse tela de jardineria para prevenir que crezcan malesas a travez del ladrillo.

The next step was putting about 3 inches of crushed rock on top of the landscaping fabric (you can buy all these materials at the hardware store!) and tamp it to keep it level. Also, its important to grade the area a bit so that rain water flows away from the foundation of the house.

El proximo paso fue poner 3 pulgadas de piedra molida sobre la tela (puedes comprar todos estos materiales en la tienda de construccion!) y aplastar la piedra para nivelar. Tambien es importante que el area tenga un grado de desnivel hacia la calle para evitar que el agua se dirija a la fundacion de la casa.

With the rock tamped and leveled, it was time to put down an inch of sand. To do this I bought 1″ pvc pipe, set them in the frame, threw the sand, and using a piece of 4 x 2 lumber leveled the sand by sliding the wood on top of the pvc. Then after finishing one part, I moved the pipes and filled up the empty spaces they left with sand by hand. The sand doesn’t have to be tamped.

Con la piedra aplastada y nivelada, era tiempo de poner 1 pulgada de arena. Para hacer esto compra una tuberia de PVC de 1 pulgada, las puse en el marco y puse la arena encima, usando un trozo de madera de 2 x 4 nivele la arena arranstrando la madera sobre la tuberia de pvc. Despues luego de terminar una parte, movi el PVC y rellene el espacio que dejaron poniendo arena a mano. La arena no tiene que ser plastada.

With the sand leveled, it was time to start setting the bricks! I chose a Basket Weave pattern. Usually this pattern doesn’t require cutting bricks.

Con la arena nivelada, era tiempo de poner los ladrillos! Use un diseno que se llama Basket Weave. Es el dibujo que require la menor cantidad de cortes posible.

Once all the bricks were in place, I put sand on top of the bricks and swiped it around so it would fill all the spaces between the bricks and keep them from moving and shifting. I cleaned them up to remove the excess sand and watered the area to make the sand fall into the cracks and set even better.

Con todos los ladrillos en su lugar, puse arena encima y barri la arena de un lado para otro asi podia rellenar los espacios entre los ladrillos y avitar que se movieran. Luego limpie el exceso de arena y moje el lugar para hacer que la arena de apretara entre los ladrillos y se asentara aun mejor.

This was a fun project. I learned from some mistakes I made and now I feel confident that I can do a better job next time I decide to use this technique in a future DIY task! In the meantime we will enjoy our new entrance and, of course, everyone is welcome to stop by and visit Los Rodriguez mansion!

Este fue un pryecto muy entretenido. Aprendi de mis errores y ahora me siento con confianza para hacer un mejor trabajo la proxima vez que decida usar esta tecnica en el futuro! Por mientras disfrutare nuestra nueva entrada y, por supuesto, todos son bienvenidos a visitar la mansion de Los Rodriguez!

9 thoughts on “Front entrance makeover!!!! Leave a comment

  1. Wow! That’s really amazing, Javi. What a job. Its great to see the whole process and what it entails to do that job. Learned a lot! Maybe you should go into teaching!! 🙂

    • yeah! home ownership is fun! Javi never knew he could do this stuff til we bought the house. We’ve focused so much on curb appeal that the inside of the house is looking pretty drab…pretty soon we’ll turn the focus inward, esp since it’ll be too cold to do too much work outside!

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