June 1, 2006

How we built the Patio

Ok… so the patio… don’t even know where to begin so I’ll just go through it step by step. Even more photos on the photoblog.... oh and to warn you - this is the LONGEST POST EVER.

Remember last weekend the guys dug the hole for the foundation…Then on Friday afternoon we had most of the materials delivered:

So then came Saturday....

How we built the patio (in 31-ish steps):
Step 1: Wake up at 5:30 am to get to home depot at 6:00 am so that we can rent the tamper.
Step 2: Wait for the brick delivery (and go back to sleep for an hour or two)
Step 3: Dig patio hole 4" bigger around in order to make room for the plastic edging piece… fold over sod to be reused later….listen to Jill’s stories about stray cats.
Step 4: Tamp and level ground.
Step 5: Layout landscape fabric to prevent weeds from growing into the patio

Step 6: Cover landscape fabric with a layer of gravel… rake level.
Step 7: Tamp layer of gravel
building the patio

Step 8: Eat sloppy joes and other fantastic things that my mom brought for lunch (thanks mom!)
Step 9: Repeat steps 6 & 7 (only this time Osam got to play with the tamper)

Step 10: Realize we are short about 30 bags of gravel because the grass is not level… girls go to home depot for more… (Thank god my dad insisted that we borrow his truck even though we claimed we wouldn’t need it. silly us!) guys stay home and sneak in a game of Madden
Step 11: Repeat steps 6 & 7
Step 12: Rake gravel level and retamp
Step 13: Repeat step 12

Step 14: Obsess about gravel being level… 4 architects should never do any home improvement together unsupervised. Repeat step 12.

Step 15: Lay out brick pattern to make sure everything will fit ok… use Acad drawing for reference (no, seriously) even in the mockup.

Step 16: Stake in the plastic edging
Step 17: Remove brick
Step 18: Dump enough sand to create a 1" layer over entire area inside plastic edging

Step 19: Rake sand level

Step 20: Screed sand using 2x4 cut to length of patio

Step 21: Obsess over level, re-screed
Step 22: Repeat step 21
Step 23: Repeat step 21
Step 24: Repeat step 21 (we’re architects. Unsupervised. It had to be perfect.)

Step 25: Finally it’s level!

Step 26: Lay the brick! This part was super-fun.

Step 27: Take ceremonial pictures of the placing of the final brick:

Step 28: Dump sand all over patio and sweep sand into all of the cracks
Step 29: Tamp (do you see how dark it’s getting in this photo? Yeah...)

Step 30: repeat steps 28 and 29
Step 31: stare at the patio in tired awe…

Then the next day we finished the patio... Basically we swept and washed the patio a few times to work the sand into all of the cracks… then we backfilled the 4" around the patio on top of the plastic edging, and replaced the sod… and we also dug out and set up this:

Since the driveway curved at a weird angle this was our solution so that we wouldn’t have to cut any pavers.... The big rocks came out of the pile of crap that used to be along our fence!

I also planted the new back beds…this involved filling them with manure… which meant I hauled like 40ish bags of dirt around….here’s some pics:

The salsa garden is also planted:

I’ll post a more detailed description of all of that later.

Then on Monday we finished cleaning up the back yard… there was lots and lots of debris floating around from the project. We also had to return 389 bricks – a slight math error had us order twice as many as we needed. Again, luckily we had the truck!

I still need to plant that bed next to the house…and spread some mulch around… and plant some planters for on the patio…but other than that I’d say we had a very productive weekend!


  1. So, when are you available for hire?


  2. Looks like a lot of work ... but a great pay off. BBQs all summer long on your new patio!

  3. woohoo - looks fab, jeanne!!! and tell...what's the best way to do a post w/ this many pics, cuz blogspot makes me insane when posting more than a couple pics lol.
    really looks great - can't wait to see it in person! :)

  4. YEA! What a great result after all of the hard work! We did this two summers ago, so I know how much work goes into it! Yours looks really great, and will be so useful all year long ;)

  5. very impressive...i'll remember to look you up when i'm ready to do this :)

  6. Wow. Very cool "tutorial". Now THAT is a productive weekend if I ever saw one.

  7. wow! it came out great! I especially love the area between the patio and the driveway ;)

  8. Excellent Patio. Congrats!

  9. Your patio turned out fantastic! Gotta go, I'm hungry for salsa now.

  10. I love your patio & gardens! They are not only inspiring, but giving me a serious case of spring fever! Great work!


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