DIY Paver Patio Project-Complete
Now all I need is some great new patio furniture and this backyard transformation will be 100% complete.
As many of my loyal subscribers know, we have been working on adding a paver patio to our back yard since December of last year. Well I am excited to announce that the patio portion of this project is complete. It has been a long haul, and I needed to get this project finished up so I can concentrate on the One Room Challenge Event due next month. For those of you that missed my big announcement this week JENRON DESIGNS will be a guest participant in the 2017 One Room Challenge hosted by Calling It Home and House Beautiful. So please check in or sign up for email updates to keep up to date on the latest progress
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Here is the before picture of my very sad yard last summer. As you can see almost all of our Bermuda sod was dying, mainly due to lack of sun and the shadows cast by our house. We decided the only permeant answer to fix this issue was to add a paver patio in the areas where our grass refused to live. This past winter we dug up and removed all dead sod and weeds growing in the area the patio was to be installed. We rerouted the gutter downspout to release water further down our hillside past the purposed patio. This was accomplished by trenching across this area and laying back corrugated pipe, that would attach to the downspout on the house.
Next we leveled out the ground in preparation of the pavers. As many of you Georgian’s know we live in an are full of “Red Clay”which is our dominate soil type. Georgia is synonymous with red clay, in fact we are known for our red clay by many artisans that seek it out for pottery projects. It is not great for planting but it is fabulous for setting pavers. Think of it as big terra-cotta plate for your base, I mean who needs concrete, when you got clay right? During the leveling process, we experienced several rain storms, which was to our benefit, and helped tamp down the ground. So now we are ready for sand, pavers, stone and block.
We ordered the pavers and all the other supplies needed from Lowe’s as they had the best stone color to match our home. We were also very happy to find our that Lowe’s would deliver all of it for a $75 delivery charge. Charles, our amazingly talented fork lift operator was more than happy to place the pallets exactly where we wanted them. This particular step saved us a lot of time, saving us from having to carry every single paver from the front yard around to the back, as we did with the fireplace last year. The next step in the process took place over several weekends, as moving over 5,000 blocks, no matter how close they were just takes some time. We devised a plan to installed pavers in large squared off sections. We would level the area and place sections of paver, tamping each one into to place and make sure they stayed relatively level. Our final patio size was planned to be the full length of the back of our house at approx. 65ft long, and a range of 15-20ft wide depending on the section, which was based off the footprint of our house. When laying the pavers it is recommended to start at a flat sideline such as your house, or patio. This process will keep your pavers square and limit your possible cuts.We added in a knee wall for our existing planter bed, which houses my beautiful limelight hydrangeas. We also have a large specimen urn for my rare Bloodgood Japanese Maple. They have a pretty red/green to burgundy fringed leaf shape with beautiful branches that drape. The usually start at $100 for a small one gallon pot and can range into the thousands of dollars for more established trees. My sister had a huge one, and was apprised for about $2,000. So if you are in the market to grow and resale plants I would recommend this type, you could get a good return, if you have a green thumb.
As you can see in the picture below I wanted the patio to have a curved edge. FYI- not the easiest thing to do according to my husband Ron. LOL, so we rented a concrete saw at Home Depot to make the curved cuts. However, he admits with the proper tools, aka the concrete tile saw, it was actually very easy.
Tip: If you save the excess cut pieces you might be able to flip them around and reuse them to fill space between metal edge and patio. We were able to use several pieces to create a full edge.
Here we added a metal edging to hold the pavers in place. This will also help to hold the polymeric sand into the form as well. I know this may seem backwardsor an unconventional step in the process, but it worked well for our yard. Believe me we watched lots of DIY tutorials prior to taking on this project, most of which show putting the frame work down first. My thought on this process was, if you put a frame work down first you make more work for yourself, especially in cutting the edge blocks to fit. I figured place the blocks, and allowing the run to end with a full block and then create your edge. I must admit, I was not exactly happy we were going to have to cut the rounded edge blocks above but I knew ethically the patio needed a little curve to give it an more organic feel instead of a big ugly rectangle.
The final step for the paver patio was installing the polymeric sand. This was quick, easy and only took half a day, but you must have good weather on the horizon for 3 days during the curing process. So make sure you check you 5 day forecast. You can not install in freezing or near freezing conditions, and absolutely no rain!!!Like I said this was probably the easiest part of the entire process. You dump out the sand, and sweep it into the cracks between the pavers. Make sure to tamp the blocks as you go, to insure a tight fill. Then after you you have filled between all pavers you spray with a light layer of water. I recommend using the mist setting on your hose pipe nozzle, to prevent over watering and run off. I made three full passes across the patio, on the mist setting and called it a day. Three days later our patio was complete.Now that the patio was complete I felt we needed to add on stone bases for the deck columns. The columns felt a little naked, not to mention our deck footings were not even, which created a slight bow in the brick pavers. This solution would cover the bow and integrate the columns in to the final design for a high end finish. We added the stacked stone blocks and backfilled with concrete. This portion of the project was also very easy and finishes the patio off nicely. As soon as the weather gets warmer again, I envision 4 ferns hanging on the inside of the columns from pretty antique style wall hooks. We have had such crazy weather this spring, warm everything blooms and then, BAM freeze warning!!! So I am going to have to waiting until May, I guess. We will also plan to paint the under side of the deck white like our trim and maybe adding Edison bulb string lights, or a fun chandelier, and I am pretty sure my hammock will be making an appearance too. For those of you that remember my DIY pallet herb rack from last year, that we placed under the deck. I got it all filled up with all my favorite herbs. Now I can actually get to them easier, with tromping through the muddy back yard. Yay, it’s the small things that make me happy!!! You can see from the pictures we were able to integrate the patio with our existing fireplace, as well. We built a fireplace in anticipation for this space, it was all a part of the overall plan to have additional backyard living space. The fireplace was a great find, on sale at the end of season, from Hayneedle. We were able get the entire thing for around $1,700 combining the sale along with a 20% off coupon plus free delivery to our driveway. This was an opportunity we could not pass up, so again, we did things a little bit out of order. Since we have a pretty steep lot, the ability to have a prebuilt fireplace delivered was completely out of the question, all the local landscape companies were to afraid the forklift would tip over. So our only option was to built it ourselves, brick by brick likes grown up legos. Okay, so you love everything, but just don’t understand those little lion statues I have on the fireplace. Why you ask? Well they are actually pretty sentiment to me, and here’s the story you know why. They are the matching markers for 2 of my kitties, Behr & Kramer (brothers), that passed several years ago. We had them in our previous backyard, where they were buried. I could not bare to leave the statues behind when we moved. So, I reluctantly moved them with no plan of what to do with them, and now they will adorn my patio fireplace. A lovely reminder of my boys that can stay with me. I truly believe that even in beautiful designs there is always a place for a few sentimental objects. I think thats what makes your home a home, and not just a sterile designed space like a hotel or museum. So it is okay to let your personality and history shine through, it creates a more believable and unique space.Overall I think the DIY backyard patio project is a success. We still have a little further to go with patio furniture and other fun accessories, but we have our basic container plants done and will be on the hunt for fun outdoor things this summer so stay tuned for more updates.