Deck & Patio – Progress Report #3

Now that a week of rain has ended, work on the deck and patio has resumed and activities are now moving towards completion.
The deck now has the steps in place (minus fascia panels that will be added soon) and the white aluminium railings have been added (minus the glass panels that are now on order and should be installed in a week or two).Where necessary, the patio stones have been measured and cut to fit.Sand has been spread across the surface and swept into all the crevices and looking down from the deck, the patio is now looking very smart indeed. Work still needs to be done to repair the lawns around the patio, which will be addressed over the weeks ahead.All in all, it is shaping up very nicely and we have been very impressed with the professionalism of the team and their commitment to producing a quality product.We’ll post again when it is completely finished and when we have some furniture and a BBQ in place!

Little Lilly

After what was, we think, a 3 month wait, Janet’s new Ford Taurus has finally arrived (complete with bluetooth mobile phone facility, USB port and other assorted functionalities that we hadn’t expected). It appears to be a well thought through vehicle, with an easy layout and lots of little cubby-holes for hiding things! This evening, we went along to Okotoks Ford (where we bought Lilly, our other car) to pick her up and bring her home. Here’s their website…
Janet appears happy with this development…And this is Dylan Callum, the sales associate that we have worked with in selecting both of the cars. He has been an absolute star, completely non pushy, very friendly and very entertaining on test drives when, contrary to most test drives, he has encouraged us to, errr, test the limits of the vehicles we were interested in! Dylan is applying the licence plate that Janet went and purchased today.More photos of the car to follow in the days ahead.


Deck and Patio Work Continues

A further brief update on the deck and patio works.  The deck is beginning to look rather smart, although it still lacks steps, white aluminium railings and glass panels.
Compacting the gravel and sand bedding for the patio area…
The stones for the patio being delivered. This is a cool Tonka Toy…all managed by a remote control in the delivery guy’s hand. The rest of the pallets on his truck are ours too.

The patio starts with one stone in the middle, then a circle of stones around it. It may look as though Ivor has randomly chosen where to start laying stones but we assure you there was some science applied in deciding where the very first stone should be laid!

The circle is complete and now the patio border and infill stones are being laid.
The bulk of the patio stones are laid but the weather has been deteriorating all afternoon and work has to stop. Rain is forecast for the next few days (that was a very accurate forecast we can tell you!…it’s been raining heavily all week!) and so the final act is to cover over the “holes” in the patio with bricks to stop them becomming waterlogged. When work recommences, these stones will be cut with a special saw so that they precisely fit the holes they are covering.

With more rain forecast for Sunday and Monday, it is likely to be into the middle of next week before work can recommence. We’ll update the blog with the finished product.

The Deck is Coming Along

Good progress has been made over the last day or so, although it has come to a halt now due to the long weekend. We did manage to buy a tree for our garden though so we will be planting that tomorrow.

These are the cross beams going on the deck. The guy in the photo is Tony, (husband of Violet and the multi-talented co-owner of the barn in DeWinton that we stayed at when we first arrived here).

This is Ivor, son of Ivor (Senior), the latter of whom has designed and planned the deck and patio and helped mark out the borders with spray paint!

This is Ivor (Senior), friend and partner of Tony, supervising progress!
This is Tony again with his son Elliot, doing a fine job.
This is the deck with nearly all its boards. Now we need steps and railings.
More to follow.

Garden Project

Well the weather is finally getting warmer (around 90 degrees this weekend) so we decided it was high time put in some flowerbeds. However, we got an e-mail from Violet (the co-owner of the barn we stayed in, in October) asking if we still wanted a deck building. So the digging out of borders has now escalated to borders, deck and patio, as it does!!! We were keen to get a deck though and think it will look really good when it is done.  Here are a few pictures of where we are so far.

This is the outline of borders, deck and patio in white spray paint.

This is one of the first borders to be dug out (by me and Eamonn I might add)
You can see in this picture the heap of dirt we have dug out of the borders
As the pile grows, I thought I’d better stand behind it for scale.
Patio area dug out

Patio with gravel bedding in place

Matting and stones for under the deck

More to follow in the next few days.


Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump

Jan’s Mum and Dad have been and gone, our very first visitors here in Canada. We enjoyed showing them around and made trips out to a number of places of interest. Among the first visits we made was to the uniquely monickered “Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump”, a UNESCO world heritage site a couple of hours drive south of Okotoks. We wont dwell on what the site is all about as you can sort of get the gist from the name, (although the “head-smashed-in” part of the name doesn’t actually relate to the buffalo – despite this being the fate that befell the poor beasts…it relates to the injuries sustained by a native who was curious to find out from below, what a herd of buffalo look like when they run over a cliff edge…can’t imagine today’s health and safety laws would allow such a viewing point!) Here’s the website though – worth a little look.
The road there was unbearably busy – it was a really stressful drive…

…However, we stuck with it and got there safely where Geoff & Hazel got friendly with the locals…

There’s an interesting interpretive centre at the site and then you can take a stroll along to one of the buffalo jump sites that the natives used.

…and while we were looking at the jump site, we had a visit from a Marmot.

On the way home, we took a short detour off the highway into the little town of Stavely which stands out along the route because of it’s large and well maintained grain tower, situated directly across the street from their only hotel and their sweet little Town Office (Council Offices or Town Hall in UK speak).