Archive for August, 2015

My Children Did It: Parking Pad Edition

So some of you may know about the parking pad saga.  Let’s start with a quick refresher:

  • No off street parking, so Mike pulled out the dying boxwood, tore down the chainlink fencing, et voila! Off street parking.
  • Neighbors on both sides of me put in non-pervious pavers, basically cement, directing all run off towards my property.
  • I’ve kept it bare/grass to encourage drainage, and it is only really a problem one week out of the year.

Enter my brother. My amazing brother who always seems up to some ridiculous housing project when he’s in town.  How hard could it be? What could possibly go wrong?  So off we were to get materials to dig a whole and lay brick pavers.

Step one – get brick.  Thanks, Craigslist!  And Steve…and Alisha…and Stu…who helped me collect these!

Step two – dig a hole.  I don’t recommend doing it on the hottest day of the year, but how were we to know the weather gods would be so cruel?

Step three – lay fancy fabric stuff to prevent sinkage, we also used edging to “lock” the pad in place.


Step four – put the paver base in, even it out and tamp/pound it as flat and even as you can.  Not as simple as it sounds, but a fairly forgiving process.

Step five – lay the brick!  Surprisingly the easiest part of it all.

We decided to do most of this at night…so it’d be cooler and because it was going to start raining.   

Step six – pour fine sand into the cracks to help bind the whole pad together.  About that…I just haven’t gotten around to it.  I know, no excuse now, it’s been a couple of months, but it’s functioning fine.  Maybe I’ll do it this fall before the first snow.

I wanted it to be as porous and non-invasive as possible.  Almost like it’s always been there.  So here is the semi-final product!


I overheard my neighbor tell my mom that she thinks it looks great.  My mom just kind smiled and said, “My children did that.”  Which communicates two things, to me: parental pride and resignation.  I don’t think it’s what she had in mind, but in the end, it’s functional, and it was done by her two crazy kids.  Just like that ash tray I made her in kindergarten.  Except for the fact that she doesn’t smoke, I know she was amused by the effort and product.  And I now have a parking pad!