We are fortunate to have a very large deck and backyard. What the yard needed, though, was a patio. Upon touring the house for the first time, we immediately noted that the flower bed to the base of the deck stairs was the perfect spot for one.
In an early March post, I mentioned that we had a gorgeous weekend in the upper 70s. We took advantage of the fantastic weather by beginning work on our patio! The flower bed was home to hundreds of iris bulbs. The first task was to dig up these irises and transplant them to the front yard.
This was an all-day effort. We must have transplanted at least 500 bulbs!
|Yardwork is tiresome for pups.
The full-grown irises looked beautiful in our front yard this spring!
With the flowers gone, we began to estimate how large of a patio we wanted to build. Fortunately, the previous owners had built a smaller patio in the front yard. The patio looked nice, but we thought it would get more use if it was in the backyard. Therefore, we collected all of the brick pavers and housed them in the garage for the time being.
Then, we laid out some pavers to get a feel for our new patio’s dimensions. Evan calculated the rest of the math to figure out exactly how many more pavers we would need to build a bigger patio in the backyard.
The hardest part came next. Evan spent pretty much every weekend digging up the flower bed and all of the grass. To make the patio level, he had to unearth a total of six inches of dirt from the entire area. I owe him big time.
Sod is heavy, so Evan dug them up in smaller chunks. We transplanted the sod into the bare area where the front yard patio used to be located.
This is what the patio looked like once all of the dirt and grass was removed!
Evan then went to town smashing the ground with a hand tamper. This was several days’ work in and of itself. The ground didn’t need to be perfectly level by this point, but it had to be pretty darn close.
Level and ready to go!
The patio area had a lot of weeds, so we spritzed it with weed killer.
Once that was dry, we rolled out and tacked down several rows of landscape fabric to further discourage weed growth.
The next step was to cover the entire area with sand, and lots of it. It’s recommended that you use approximately 2″ worth of sand under a patio. Therefore, we used a combination of play sand and Quikrete’s “Patio Paver Base Sand.”
We dumped out all of the sand as evenly as we could. This was a fun part. I may or may not have built a sandcastle at one point.
Once all of the sand was in place, Evan took a 2×4 and began dragging it along the top of the sand to try to make the patio as smooth and level as possible.
He repeated this process several times to ensure a smooth surface in every direction.
Finally, we were ready to place down pavers!
To save some money, we repurposed all of the pavers from the front yard and bought the rest. We couldn’t find the same sized brick paver from either Lowe’s or Home Depot, so we bought a smaller one and created a simple design out of it. The resulting pattern had a lot more character to it!
We still had a couple tricky edges left to go. From Lowe’s, we purchased two DeWalt masonry saw blades for our 10″ miter saw. Unlike a regular, wood-cutting saw blade, these had a course, abrasive texture to them. They looked something like this:
Evan attached the saw blades to our miter saw, took measurements and marked them onto the pavers using a piece of chalk, and cut each paver down to size. The saw blades worked great; it created a ton of dust and took a lot longer to cut through each piece, but the cuts themselves were perfect.
We finished additional cracks along both sides of the patio with a row of red lava rocks from Lowe’s. The lava rocks will also help with drainage.
Despite the level surface that we created with the sand, several of the pavers were still a little wobbly. Using a broom, we brushed extra sand into the cracks between each paver. This helped secure them all and ensured a tight fit.
Despite all of our measurements, we miscalculated and ran out of pavers for the very bottom of the patio! No need to worry. We remedied this by planting a row of geraniums, laying down additional lava rocks, and adding numerous solar lights and a tiki lamp as an accent.
We also bought several herbs and a large palm tree of sorts. In the garage, we had a leftover clay pot large enough for the tree:
But, since I wanted it to match the grill and the rest of the patio furniture, I spray painted it with Rustoleum’s “Rubbed Oil Bronze.”
Ready for the reveal?
Here’s the before:
And here’s the after!
Nothing’s better than coming home after a long day of work to sit right here. This patio was well worth the effort, and is Evan’s pride and joy. It’s also my favorite addition that we’ve made to our house thus far! Hope you like it, too!
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