DIY Paver Patio Project

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 

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

138 Comments

  1. Golly that was a lot of work, but that fireplace is so worth it. I am adding that to (my honey when we get married and buy a house to do list) if there isn’t one of those I am officially making it a thing.

  2. Such a good diy subject, love the patio completion. Actually I love this web site, bookmarking to carry on vacay for my iPad.

  3. You need to participate in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this web site!

  4. I just had to see more about this fireplace. I am dumbfounded that you built it yourself, and that your ordered it online!!!!!! What the heck? It really turned out beautiful along with the patio, I now have patio envy, and tons on spring project ideas.

  5. Just wanted to say this is a fantastic project and you guys did a rally great job. I look at it think professionally done, but I then I read how it took your several months to complete, so I know you are weekend warriors like the rest of us. Proving the tortoise really does win the race.

  6. I feel really privileged to have stumbled upon this web pages and look forward to many more fun minutes reading here. Thanks a lot again for all the details.

  7. That patio is amazing! You need to take part in a contest for the greatest blog ever on the web. I’ll suggest this site!

  8. It’s not at all easy to just find the how to’s fro a large project like this given away freely. These are ideas other people might have been trying to sell in a ebook or paid tutorial. Just enough information to get the job done right here, Thanks for everything!

  9. My husband and I felt very glad that we could complete our research via the precious recommendations he acquired when using your web pages. All of the illustrations you’ve made, the simple text directions and easy to use web site navigation, help to build your reader relationships. It’s got everything- excellent content and beautiful pictures. Thanks for the whole lot!

  10. There are actually a whole lot of particulars like that to take into consideration. That could be a nice level to deliver up. I provided the thoughts above as common inspiration however clearly there are questions like the one you bring up the place an important thing will likely be working in sincere good faith.

  11. I just want to say I am just beginner to blogging and honestly liked this web page. Very likely I’m going to bookmark your blog post . You really have tremendous writings. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your web page.

  12. Thanks a lot for giving everyone a very brilliant opportunity to read from this blog.

  13. I simply wanted to thank you so much for inspiring me to work on my backyard. This pave project turned out great and now I feel like I can do it too.

  14. I need to check with you here about the length of time this took. This is not something I often do, so I need to a lot the time! I get pleasure from building things with my own two hands. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!

  15. I feel quite blessed to have used this weblog as my inspiration for our backyard make over, and look forward to some more thrilling reading here. Thanks again for everything.

  16. I’m impressed, I must say. Actually not often do I encounter a weblog that I find both educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you may have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent; the issue is something that not enough individuals are talking intelligently about. I’m very pleased that I stumbled throughout this in my search for something regarding this.

  17. You made some great points about doing it yourself. You saved a ton of money and it looks really good.

  18. Such a pretty patio, you guys put in a lot of hard work. I hope you are able to enjoy the fruits of your labor I would be in the hammock 24/7. TTFN.

  19. Enjoyed looking through your blog. I have shared on my twitter. I hope if you don’t mind. I am looking forward to more content.

  20. Hi there where did you purchase your pavers from? I have been looking online and the big boxes seem to expensive and the landscape companies are outragious. P.S My apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    • Hi Austin, I am a fan of WordPress.org, it is easy to use and maintain, it also has lots add ons and widgets. Good luck with your blog. 🙂

  21. This is the right blog for anybody who desires to find out about interior design. You realize so much of it’s virtually visible by using your own home as a muse. You definitely put a brand new spin on lots of DIY projects. Great stuff, just great!

  22. I’m beginner to the weblog reading world and I certainly enjoyed yours. You have good tips and fantastic pictures for the articles. Thanks a bunch for sharing your ideas.

  23. Look like you put in a lot of hours to get this perfect patio. I am looking at doing something similar in my back yard as well. Great post and inspirational ideas. Thanks!

  24. Beautiful patio, great DIY information. I bet you do a lot of entertaining out there.

  25. Wow this project is insane, I can not believe you did all of this yourselves. Many props to you guys. Nice job!

  26. “Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!”

  27. “Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It is the little changes which will make the greatest changes. Thanks for sharing!”

  28. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!

    • Thank You Bev, I appreciate your support. I would love to be considered as a best blog site!!! That is very exciting 🙂

  29. your page is great and so is this project. our patio leaves a lot to be desired, if you know what i mean. maybe we could add a few walls or even better a fireplace.

  30. Wow this was a big project. It turned out very nice, but I am sure you both are worn out from moving all those stones. I did a small garden walk and wore myself out over a weekend. Just wanted to give you kudos for doing it yourself. lots great, good job.

  31. I do really like that fireplace, it is hard to believe you purchased it as a kit to build yourself. I will have to go check out Hayneedle and see if I can’t talk my hubby into purchasing one.

  32. You really come to the table with perfect design talent and informative posts. This project seems completely do-able for someone like me. Thanks a lot for sharing this type of information on your web site.

  33. Wow this was an intense project!!! I commend you on your talents to undertake such a large DIY and get such a an amazing professional quality outcome. You guys could be the next Fixer Uppers!!!

  34. I’m extremely inspired by this project. Is this a paid sponsored project or did you do the modifications yourself? It seems like a very big job for just two people.

    • Dennis this was completly a self inflected project and was not sponsored by anyone other than ourselves. LOL!!! Believe me I would have love to have had this patio installed for us, but the pricing,for what we wanted, was completely out of our budget. We ended up doing the project for about a 1/3 of the cost, of the 3 quoted bids. I just took the money we saved and put it toward the next project!!!

  35. Oh my goodness! What an incredible article! So inspired! Thank you!

    • I am glad you enjoyed this project, it was a long time in the making!!! Make sure to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss a thing!!!

  36. Thank you for the excellent writeup. In fact it was very amusing and entertaining. Look forward to hearing more from you!

  37. I cannot thank you enough for the step by step blog. Thanks Again. Fantastic.

  38. Say, you got a nice article post.Really want to thank you! Will read on and also and bookmark for future posts.

  39. Absolutely beautiful! You already have a gorgeous backyard, and now you can truly enjoy it with that lovely patio and fireplace. Such an unusual choice to do a fireplace, most people just cheap out and go the easy route of a fire pit, but you went all the way girl! I can see you have eye for only the best in life, kudos to that, cheers my friend.

  40. Heya are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do
    you require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • I use wordpress.org, and no you do not have to have coding knowledge. I chose to educate myself in coding just to make my site more custom, save a little bit of money and fix issues that crop up. I tend to be the personality type that likes a challenge, and will dive into things if they interest me, I learn everything I can possible learn about the topic. My husband finds it amusing since I have gone from “I can’t get this stick thing to open”…. to talking all about SEO’s, analytics,Yoest,Tailwind, algorithms, and most of the things he has no idea about now….LOL

  41. My favourite landscaping & paving idea – combining decking and random paving patterns. The clean lines of wooden decking vs natural shapes of crazy paving form an appealing contrast.

    • Thank you, it was a lot of hard…..back breaking work, but we survived and truly love the finished product!!! Not to mention we saved ourselves about $15,000.

    • That’s the best answer so far! Just build a patio if your yard won’t cooperate, show that yard who’s boss. You go girl!!!

  42. OMG! I absolutely love this post! I am moving and want to have an extended patio. The quote was well over my budget, so I hope I’ll be as diligent as you and can do it myself!

    • We were able to complete the patio for 1/3 of the cost of our professional quotes. I highly recommend if you think you can do it yourself to try. It is a lot of hard work but we saved so much money.

  43. My husband would be all for this project! It turned out very pretty.

  44. you guys did a great job. i need someone to come and do my back yard. looks awesome

  45. I love it! It’s so beautifully done and I couldn’t have chosen a better style for the flooring. It’s very nice!

    • I love the herb garden!!! It’s super easy to walk up and maintenance. Could be a great idea for older retired couples that can’t bend over easily to work a garden 🙂

    • No one can doubt the validity of this article, look at those great pictures. You must be loving that space!

  46. Your patio turned out beautiful! We live in a condo and don’t have space for that but one day I’d love to have a little patio to entertain and barbecue

    • It was a long haul. Hind site I probably should have published updates along the way to get more mileage for my blog post instead of only releasing it to the subscribers.

  47. I love this patio. I’m going to pin this for my dream home collection.

  48. This looks so so so good!! Did you want to come and put some pavers on my patio too? You make it look so easy!

  49. Wow, what an amazing job you guys did! I don’t think we can ever do anything like that ourselves! Am loving the fireplace!

  50. What a beautiful job you’ve done! It looks gorgeous and it has totally transformed your garden.

  51. This came out so good. We are working on re doing our outside area and porch this spring, and it is a big undertaking but so worth it.

      • Felt so hopeless looking for answers to my questions until now, thanks for the clear instructions. Now I can do it.

  52. What a good solution to patchy grass. We have been going to home shows for the past year trying to figure out how to do something like it, it’s nice to see that DIY can actually work out!

      • Hey! Someone in my Facebook group knows you so I came to take alook. I’m definitely loving the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Wonderful blog and amazing design and style.

  53. Jen!! Oh my word!! This is spectacular! And your columns- what a clever addition. I can’t believe we haven’t been over to visit in that gorgeous space… soon??

    • You are invited over anytime my friend!!! I can’t wait to see yours!!! We should do a progressive cocktail party start at one and end up at the other!!! We can just roll the bar cart right down the street….LOL

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