Work began on the carport to park the truck in, in January and went on until March.
It began with Owen’s planning, and then a bobcat came and removed the existing rock wall and mailbox (carefully so that the stones could be reused) and excavated the ground out so that it was level and even, ready for Owen to pave the area to match the existing paved driveway.
The stonemason then came and replaced the rock wall and mail box in their new positions about 1 meter over to give more room for the truck, it took him about 4-5 days to finish and he used the rocks from the previous wall (cutting down costs a little – the stonemason was still VERY expensive).
After he finished Owen and I had to clean up all of the rubble and mess that he left, so that the area was clean and no longer dangerous (huge tripping hazards).
Once this was done Owen began work on the actual carport structure, the posts, frames, false ceiling, insulation, beam in centre of carport (to be used as a lifting point with a block and tackle), roof, lights, guttering, painting etc and an electrician did the wiring for the lights etc.
Once this was all done Owen began paving the driveway to match the existing paving. Luckily we had plenty of paver’s left over from the original paving (as we had planned on using them to pave around the back) as they no longer make these paver’s anymore. He laid the road base , then the blue metal dust (very fine road base) over the top as he does not lay paver’s that are going to be driven on regularly on sand as they tend to move too much etc. We then hired a whacker (plate compactor) and whacked all of the road base etc down and he screed off the blue metal dust and began laying the paver’s (a reddish coloured paver) (the original pattern was a 45o herringbone pattern so this was continued). Once all of the full paver’s were laid Owen then laid the header course (a different coloured (cream) paver) and he began the tedious task of cutting all of the paver’s to fit in the gaps, around the poles etc, as we didn’t have a brick saw, Owen did all of these cuts using his large grinder (9inch) with a diamond blade and a smaller grinder to add the taper back onto the paver and remove the rough/ sharp edge. There must have been hundreds and hundreds of cuts he did (Oh – his poor back).
Once they were all laid we swept a product called Gap Sand into the gaps (“Gap Sand is a special blend of graded fine sands and additives designed to lock into place all types of brick and block paving” the one we used was from Cement Australia) you then brush any leftover off and hose it down, this activated the additives and sets locking the paver’s into place and helps to prevent the sand being washed out by heavy rain, it is also supposed to inhibit weeds and insect infestations (because it locks hard and is not soft and movable like normal sand) etc, you then wait for it to dry and repeat if needed. You can run a small whacker (plate compactor) with a carpet protective matt underneath over the paver’s while it is dry to help vibrate the sand into the gaps better, or according to the pack you can also tap the paver’s with a rubber mallet to aid in this (but as our area was large this would have taken too long), we simply swept it in, cleaned up, hosed it down and left it, once it has been driven and walked on a few times we will go over it again with more gap sand, if needed.
In April, Owen and I had to scrub the rock work with acid, scrubbing brushes, scrapers and toothbrushes, to remove the cement residue and lumps, from the rocks that the stonemason had been to lazy to clean off while it was wet and easy to clean.