Finally I’m done bricks. I finished Sunday morning. I started repointing these bricks September 2013. Its been nearly 600 days…. not continuous, but it has been the dusty cloud looming over us for a long time. 19.5 months. Time for something else for a change. Luckily spring is here, the weather is great and we can do things outside. Last weekend I did these 2 small projects.
Now that we’re finished with the repointing, what are we going to do with all the leftover brick and sand? Last year it was pretty fun to have beers with friends around our fire pit. Why not make it better? We remembered killing a patch of grass under and around the fire that didn’t really grow back. That led to a muddy area around the fire and muddy feet going into the house. Also, our old fire pit had rusted through completely leaving only the outer ring. New fire pit was a lucky but easy find from Adam: a massive old wok set in our old rusted out fire pit and surrounded by bricks. Now how about the rest?
But now I have all this dirt! I think I’ll make more garden space next to the shack. I can also use it to grade in a little fall so water flows away from the shack when it rains. Should be pretty easy for the grass to grow back in too, but I’ll throw down some seeds to help it along.
Since last year though, I had heard a bit of controversy has developed on the legality of fires in Baltimore.
Baltimore code (308.1.4) says “Charcoal burners and other open-flame cooking devices shall not be operated on combustible balconies or within 10 feet (3048 mm) of any combustible construction or property line.”
Luckily we’ve got this big yard and, as you can see in this Sketchup drawing, we can get away with it in one little spot. We also need to be cooking because the rules for decorative fires says 15 feet. So while we have it in a different spot now, to keep the fire and noise further from the houses, we could move it if need be if someone raises a stink.
With the help of the wonderful Casey and Alana we had gotten the top 3 curved treads and the 5 straight treads up several weeks ago after a marathon 12 hour day of working on them. After that we came to a stand still; we were out of joists to make more stairs.
Siri and I picked 15 feet of joists from our friend Adam. After a quick planing, I marked them out in pencil in the basement to maximize every inch. My goal was to build them while Siri was away in Seattle for a week. I had a friend Julia come help me cut the boards. Over the next few days I glued, bolted and clamped them together, and then sanded them. I finally got them in about a week after Siri got home. Finally we can go all the way up and down without a ladder / stools.
Glamour shots will need to be taken to do these justice. They look so good.
To really be done we need to get some railings. We don’t really miss them though since we never had them to begin with. Maybe something else for a few weeks though…