This boulder/stoop looks innocent enough, yes? Slowly over the past 18 years, it settled to the right, causing a problem, since I use this door every day. Project: raise the stone on the right side three inches. Many contractor estimates were outrageously expensive, so it became a DIY with help…
It almost did not happen.
Why a man cannot follow instructions is beyond me. Even when they come from another man of professional experience!
First: The hired help arrived late Sunday, and was unprepared — without the critical stone dust and proper jack. We had agreed on all materials Friday during a phone conversation.
Second: I had to then wait another hour for him go look for supplies.
While I waited, I excavated most of the hole myself….MOI who should not be doing this kind of work as my body pain is fierce the following day, despite rest/meds.
Ready to roll.
With my tools organized, I awaited the arrival of my hired help…a local handyman. Hurry up and wait became this project’s motto. Sooo
My wheelbarrow quickly filled with wet, heavy clay. This kind of grunt work I outgrew years ago. My mind is willing, the body, NOT SO.
This dig required depth and undercutting the stone in order to place the bottle jack beneath the edge.
When the guy finally returned an hour later, his rusty jacks did not work and I thought I might have to stop again and to drive to town to purchase a jack. Turned out, the guy’s son lives nearby, so helper-guy left again in search of that jack. More time to kill.
At least the afternoon was pretty and sunny, so while I waited I weeded (with tweezers) my moss patch by the shed door. (Instead of spitting nails!)
When helper returned, I asked him to place the salvaged 10″ granite square in the bottom of the hole on top of some gravel so the jack would have a solid footing…and he refused. He wanted to keep digging deeper to hit solid ground. If I had agreed, he would still be digging!
Next, he helped himself to one of my small landscape stones and when that stone quickly sank into the wet clay, I suggested the granite again. FINALLY, before I hit him in the head with a shovel, he yielded and added crusher/rock to the hole, added the granite sample, and placed the new jack on top…not in the center mind, but in a cock-eyed position. Safety first, out the window…(No photo of this event, as I had my hand on the shovel, not the camera!)
He then said “I don’t give a s—t what someone on the internet says…I am doing the job my way!” Well. OK then. I had taken advice on this project from a blog follower who built major buildings in DC. (sigh)
Turns out, the use of the gravel/granite worked and up went the boulder….right into the siding. (oops)
Following few more maneuvers with a pry bar, one slab of marble under the front of the boulder, a rectangular paver under the back edge, and a few tosses of gravel dust tamped under the end, I called it quits. Helper promises to return to tamp the edge of the dirt end after a few rains. Then a top coat of gravel will cover the repair. Time will tell.
As the afternoon faded into shade, the boulder now rests a bit more level. Shall we take bets on how long it will remain that way?
At least this dastardly boulder project is over I am without a trip hazard! Geeze! For now.
What I suffer for this (expletive) house/property!
Finally: A hot shower, two tall glasses of local stout, Tylenol, and bed with the heating pad should ease my journey.
Would you have taken on this project? Comments welcome.
Hope that your Sunday was more enjoyable than mine. 😉
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