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« critters & patterns | Main | from foreign soil »

diy patio



This one is a doozy!  If we had known the amount of work, time, and money there might have been more discussion. ***Not a weekend project—Home Depot lies!*** We are more than happy we did it >> now that it's done!

Below is a simplified step by step of the process. For more detailed instructions I recommend this article, Pavestone, the people at Home Depot, and of course Google.

We started with a sick yard and my husband jack-hammered out the sidewalk.

Mark off the area and start digging. And dig. And dig. They call this excavation, I call this H E double hockey sticks.

Next is the paver base, which is small gravel. TIP: We wish we would have tried harder to get the dirt closer to level ground. Our yard was REALLY slanted and after the fact, we would still prefer to have bit the bullet and dug more dirt. So, add 3-5 inches of this gravel base and work towards the entire area being level. Then we rented a compactor to make sure there is little chance of uneven settling.

Sand time. Actually, I really enjoyed the tedious process of leveling the sand. I think it might be a second calling. Roles were reversed from earlier, as the hub hated this part. At one point we found cat prints in the sand, and wanted to hunt down and destroy the neighborhood feline.

More fun. Laying the stones. Oh, gratification! I absolutely love the pattern we chose. After the pattern is down, finishing sand is swept into the cracks and misted with water.

Add retaining wall (I still need to glue the capstones down). And then all done!

Here is where I WOULD gush and gush about how great Home Depot was, but they don't pay me to do that. We are planning to write in how exceptional the lawn/garden department was. From giving discounts to spending 30 min figuring out the stone pattern, they were just wonderful. Some things that went wrong on our end: math, rain, math, estimates, math, time, math, money, math.

Days 4+
Trips to Home Depot 15+
Square Feet 235
Money Spent $1,774
Enjoying Memorial Day BBQ with friends on new patio - Priceless

Budget Breakdown
Equipment Rental // $118
Base Layers // $410
Stones // $1,063
Tools // $56
Misc // $135
Tax // $123
Discounts/Coupons // -$131
TOTAL // $1,774

Total $ divided by sq ft = $7.50/sq ft. Not terrible. Yay for the gratification of DIY!

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Reader Comments (8)

Congrats! After all your hard work, the patio came out amazing!!! The play by play is very informative and helpful. I love the stone and the stone pattern you made. Great job!

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandria

WOW. Kudos to you both! Is the retaining wall just layers of stone with the capstone on top? That is beautiful!

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmmaLee

Thanks for the compliments! I feel like I need the affirmation :-/

The retaining wall > is actually one brick, topped with a capstone. Super easy. The brick is made to look like layers of the same patio stones.

// Amanda Joy

June 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Joy

Such a nice job. I can't wait to see it with some patio furniture out there.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChandeen

looks AH-MAZING!!! congrats.

June 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichael - Innkeeper

love it! looks awesome! great job!

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

HOO-RAY for you! I know the patience those long projects take! I would usually have to add another category "Breakdown - 10!"

But the retaining wall MADE the project - looks so so classy and inviting! Great job!

June 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKerry ~ Sweet Sanity

Even though it was hard work you did a fantastical job! Thanks for the breakdown. I think we will cave and have to do this to our yard too! And I LOVE the retaining wall! What a great idea!

Thanks for sharing! =)

January 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertchris

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