Monday, September 22, 2014

One rock shy

On September 2nd, it was time to remove the ramp and start putting in the stairs.

Unlike with the wall, the stairs all had to be the same size, so there was much more cutting involved.  The first rock placed was the landing rock at the base of the stairs.

Then slowly stairs were placed atop each other, nine in all. The tenth step will be the "capstone".

With nine steps in place, the walls on either side can be finished.

Finally, nearly three weeks later,  on September 19th the capstone was placed. The side walls are all complete except for one rock.  They'll cut one and place it this morning.  Then maybe I'll break out the champagne!

Capstone is lowered into place

Terry checks to see if it's level

He removes some gravel from underneath

After lowering it into place again, he "jiggles" it a little

Kyle checks to make sure the capstone is
at the right level

Finished, except for one rock!

But...there's more work to be done.  I need Terry and Kyle to make me four rock steps, one each for the east and west side of the front and back porches.  They'll also make me some flat rocks to use as a patio.  There will be lots of rocks left over, so I'll have them build me a rough stone wall parallel to the road along the front of the lot.  The idea is for it to look like one of those tumble-down walls you encounter in the New England woods all the time that show that the land was once farmed.

The people who dug out the rock and did the excavation for the garage will come and back fill around the top and bottom of the wall and around the garage in a week or so.  After that I'll be able to start landscaping and preparing some planting beds.  We'll aim at getting the hardscape done this fall and probably wait until spring to do any planting.