Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Building a Patio Using Concrete Pavers

By Mark J. Donovan

Last year I put in a patio underneath my elevated deck using concrete pavers. The patio overlooks the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in central New Hampshire and makes a great outdoor living space for getting out of the sun and reading a book or surfing the net.

The particular concrete pavers I used came in 3 or 4 shapes and had a slightly washed out look, which was the look I was aiming for.

To install a patio using concrete pavers, we had to initially remove the existing dirt and replace it with several inches of sand. We then compacted the sand and then began the process of laying out the concrete pavers.

The concrete pavers were installed such that we went back and back filled in the required cut pieces of concrete pavers. After completing the installation of concrete pavers, we then swept in more sand to fill in the gaps and create a rigid patio surface.

Once the concrete paver patio was complete we backfilled around it with topsoil, planted some grass seed, and began enjoying our new outdoor living space.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sanding a Deck with a Palm Sander

Sanding Deck Edges with a Palm Sander is Slow and Tedious

By Mark J. Donovan

Due to the fact that it rained shortly after I put a coat of deck sealer on my deck back two years ago, I have found myself sanding my deck to restore its look and to prepare it for a deck stain. If I can offer one word of advice, it is to make sure there is no rain in the forecast for at least 24 hours before applying a deck sealer. My deck remained tacky for months and the sealer began to peel as soon as it finally dried.

I used an orbital floor sander on the main body of the deck to remove the old deck sealer, however I have had no choice but to use a small palm sander on the deck edges. Though it is working it is a slow process.

I am using the same 36 grit sandpaper that I did on the main body of the deck. As a matter of fact, I am using the same pieces of sandpaper. I have simply cut small wedges out of them to fit the palm sander. The palm sander has a surface area of about 4”x4”.

With a little luck I will wrap up the deck sanding today and will stain it when there is a 24 hour window of dry weather. Unfortunately, in the northeast lately dry weather is as rare as a blue moon. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.