We learned a few things the past few days. For one thing, gravel does not walk. Nor does it place itself where one wants it. And it is exceedingly heavy! On Saturday night when I went to bed, my legs were throbbing and once in bed, they felt as though they had split open!!
We have a nice little lawn wagon (well, actually, it is getting pretty rusty!) that pulls well behind the ATV. Mark and the kids filled it when we brought the gravel home from the pit. It seemed like it took forever so I suggested that we put the gravel in buckets in the wagon. The gravel could easily be scooped into the buckets on their sides and then lifted into the wagon. This system worked very well and gave the kids great control as they could place the gravel where it was needed instead of trying to shovel or rake it from the wagon.
Gravel is also very dusty and makes quite a mess!
All that said, we got all the gravel we needed placed into the little frame….we then roughly raked it level. Then the kids worked together to screed it…..
Then we took turns banging….er, “tamping” the gravel so it would stay where it was placed.
Meanwhile, the tub still sat on the wagon, waiting for its new “niche”.
All of this work was done yesterday morning. The trick was getting the kids out of bed and working. How did I accomplish it? Well, since we had no “breakfast” food left, I resorted to making something they really like. I had some chicken soaking in buttermilk, so I made up fried chicken, along with some homefries. We had a little coleslaw left, so I served that as well. When I announced “breakfast” was ready, they gathered immediately! Ah, sweet bribery!
The next step seemed like the most precarious! We needed to remove the hot tub from the wagon. Thankfully, Mark used his great mechanical engineering savvy and we used mechanical advantage to remove the tub. We placed a pair of ramps on the edge of the wagon, then slowly lowered it down the ramps. It was a piece of cake. Really.
We had three 2 x 4’s on the ground to set the tub on. There were two more 2 x 4’s lying on the frame over the prepared gravel. With the kids and I pushing and pulling, we easily moved the tub on the 2 x 4’s. We slipped the tub from the three pieces onto the two above the gravel. We then measured and got it approximately in place.
Once the tub was in place, Ben and Michelle lifted the tub on one side and I slipped the wood out from underneath. We then did this with the opposite side, and….
We had already dug over half of the trench for the electric. Code says it must be buried 12 inches. We are using conduit to run it….otherwise, it would be 18 inches!
We covered the conduit and watered it down well to get the soil to settle. And that is where we are currently at. The electricity needs to be connected to the tub and at the deck.
Mark commented he couldn’t believe it has taken three days to do this, but I think a solo man would have spent more like a week on this project! Of course, now that the tub is “planted”, Mark is thinking he would like to place some diagonal decking on the frame so the gravel doesn’t get kicked out of place! Did I mention Mark would make a fine Project Engineer?