While most people sipped lemonade, ate grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and american flag cake made with blueberries and strawberries (you know what I’m talking about), Marshall and I were slaves to our patio. Let the record show that I said we could complete this in a weekend, if we worked hard enough. M said it couldn’t be done, that we’d have to draw it out over two weekends probably. Here’s the rundown on how we completed our patio in three days and still loved each other at the end.
The weekend prior to Memorial Day weekend we planned our patio space, took measurements and went shopping for all of the ingredients needed to DIY a patio- patio pavers, crusher stone and leveling sand and polymeric sand. We shopped looked at four different shops. Two big box stores, Lowes and The Home Depot and two local shops a garden and hardscape shop and a stone and brick shop. In the end, the brick shop won out- Miller Brick. Why?
1. Service- The service at Miller Brick was the best we received. He talked to us about installing it ourselves, he computed exactly how much of the ingredients we would need (I’m a baker at heart!) and when we told him the stone we like the best was out of our budget, he worked with us to find one we liked that fit our budget without question.
2. Product- Miller Brick’s display made it easy to visualize the brick in your backyard and determine which stone would be best for us. Lowes and Home Depot was a bit more difficult as their displays were on the wall. Lastly, local landscaping shop didn’t even have a display-their selection was on pallets.
3. Price- The patio we were planning was 400-square feet. We had to buy the sand and crusher stone in bulk to get the best deal and we could only do that through the two local shops. Lowes and HD bags would have eaten up half of our budget.
We ordered all of the products we needed for the job from Miller Brick. They delivered all of the goods on Friday, so that we could spend our Memorial Day weekend shoveling dirt, instead of yummy picnic food into our mouths!
Day One- Excavation and Tamping. We dug out the perimeter of the patio and then started excavating within that perimeter. We had to dig down 9 to 9 1/4 inches. We changed our plan a bit here. Originally we were going to do a curve at the top of the patio. To eliminate cuts and because we’ve never done this before we decided to make the patio completely rectangular. To excavate we used two shovels, an axe and three wheelbarrows (thank you neighbors). We continued to set goals before we would let ourselves take a break, this kept us on track. After we excavated the entire space (and I couldn’t feel my arms), using wood steaks, Marshall measured and leveled. We then ran to The Home Depot to rent a plate compacter. We tamped the dirt down and threw a one inch layer of crusher stone on it.
Day Two- Crusher Stone and Sand. We had to put down about 6 inches of crusher stone-3 inches at a time and tamping it in between. After we shoveled and poured and shoveled and poured more crusher stone than I would have liked we were ready for the sand. We used 2- 1-inch diameter PVC pipes and a straight 2×4 for this part. Visit Lowes.com for the video. This worked the best for us.
Day Three- Lay the Patio Pavers and Polymeric Sand. Monday was spent laying the patio pavers. We had a modular stone, so it was like a giant game of Tetris. When we completed laying the stone, we installed black edging, swept the polymeric sand between the stone cracks and wet the surface. After the surface dried, Marshall wet it down one more time.
So, that’s how we completed our patio in three long, hard days in a very large nutshell.