Last week, I featured the start of our backyard renovation
. When we moved into our house, our small backyard was a complete blank state with just grass and a lone evergreen tree. The yard desperately needed privacy and an area for barbecuing, dining, and entertaining.
We started our backyard makeover by installing a fence
for privacy and to define our yard from the adjacent communal space and our neighbors' yards. Once the fence was in, thanks to some muscle power from Rob, it was time to create a place where we could barbecue, eat, and relax. We debated between a patio and a deck, but ultimately decided on a patio. Because we could only get a 5 foot tall fence, a high-set deck would have towered over it and not provided us with enough privacy. Instead, we chose a 20' x 20' patio which would be more private since it sits at ground-level.
After researching online, reading books from the library, and advice from friends we decided to install the patio ourselves. But we quickly found out that a 400 square foot DIY patio installation is seriously hard work! I think our poor muscles might still be hurting!
First, we needed to dig 8" deep across the entire patio area to dig up all of the grass and soil. This was very strenuous, because it turns out that grass and soil are very heavy when you are digging big 8" thick chunks. It took us about a day to dig out the entire patio area.
After the area was dug out, we needed somewhere to put the discarded sod. Since our yard slopes down, we placed the sod chunks in the back of yard to level it out.
Next, we lined the patio area with a barrier landscaping cloth to hopefully prevent weeds from growing up between the patio stones. Then, we put down a layer of rocks across the entire area.
The rocks were a challenging task as well because we had five and a half tons (literally) of rocks delivered to our house and dropped on our driveway. Then we had to carry the rocks around the house to the backyard, one wheelbarrow at a time.
We made sure to put more rocks at the front so that the finished patio would slope down a bit for drainage. Once the entire area was fully covered with rocks, we use a hand tamper to compact the rocks so they would form a solid base. With help from our family, we were able to put down the rock base in one very long day.
Once the rock base was in place, our next step was to put down a 3 inch thick layer of sand over the entire patio area. Using the wheelbarrow, we hauled 50 pound bags of sand around the house to the yard. The sand was used to smooth out the bumpy rock base so there was a level area to put the patio pavers down.
Once the sand layer was down, it was finally time to place down our patio pavers! Stay tuned to see the pavers we chose and how we finished our DIY patio installation.
This project is featured on Diy Day, Metamorphosis Monday and Knock Out Monday