Tuesday, April 23, 2013

DIY Paver Patio

This has to be one of our biggest weekend projects to date.  I still can't believe that we managed to get it all done in one weekend.  When we first saw our house the back of the house looked like this:

Yikes.  The deck wasn't in the best shape so one of the first projects back in the fall was demolishing it. So after demolishing what was there we had a yard of mud and rocks through the winter...

 Now that Spring is finally here I was anxious to have a place to enjoy the warmer weather.  A mud pit is not ideal for outdoor grilling and dining!  We went to Lowes & Home Depot to check out paver supplies.  I wanted our patio to be consistent with the colors of our concrete stamped steps and walkway in the front and the garden retaining wall. 

I ended up loving the look of brick paver patios. The downside of course is the sheer number needed to cover the area since they are so small-we ended up needing around 2100 brick pavers (that's around 8,000 lbs of pavers!)  The next decision was the pattern to lay the bricks in...Matt was all about simplicity and would have preferred simply running the bricks but I loved the classic/historic look of a herringbone pattern.

Then we started in on the hard work. The first step in preparing the area for a paver patio is digging a base.  Most sources I read recommended digging at least 6 inches down.  This is where my dad came in with his Kubota. Hand digging the base for a patio this size would have taken us a zillion weekends but he was able to get it done in a day!  We still had to hand dig in some tight areas but overall it saved us a ton of time and effort. Avery wanted to help too, of course.
After digging our base we filled the area for the patio with gravel and then packed it down to prevent shifting of the pavers. And of course Avery continued to supervise our progress...
Later that evening we went for supplies...we had to take several trips because the pallets of bricks were so heavy and we ended up needing 3 pallets (about 700 bricks were in each pallet).  We also learned that when you are buying in bulk like this it doesn't hurt to ask if Lowes or Home Depot will give you a discount, we worked with Lowes and were pleasantly surprised that they were so flexible!
The next day we started laying the bricks.  Before laying the bricks we spread sand over top of the gravel and tried to make the base as level as possible.  This tutorial was helpful in explaining the basic process of laying herringbone bricks.  Once you get started the pattern is simple to follow.  This pattern did require a good bit of cutting along the edges of the patio.
After you get the first row lined up the next rows fall right into place...
The last step is to spread sand over the patio & sweep the sand into the cracks between the bricks to stabilize the patio and then spray down the patio with water (and repeat). Here are a few pictures of the patio as it is now but I won't call it finished quite yet.  We still plan on building a retaining wall around the back edges and making a fire pit but the difficult part is behind us! 

Thanks for stopping by!