M and her husband M, (I’ll call them M&M, not to be confused with the wonderful chocolate delight!) love hanging out in the backyard with their dog Gus watching the birds feed from the feeder hanging from a huge oak tree. Because this is their “go-to” place to chill, they wanted to make it more ideal to use throughout the day and year. To make the space more useable, they have enlisted my help to come up with a DIY (do-it-yourself) design under $2k. BTW, the just so happened to win $2k from a contest they entered, compliments of #Lowe’s!!!
The wish list…make the patio larger for better functionality, freshen up the look of the space, and help them regain control of their overgrown garden. With only 2 days and a small crew from #Lowe’s, I had quite a task in front of me to create a do-able project on a tight budget.
Their current space has a 10×20 rectangular patio that feels too narrow to accommodate the grill, a table, and a fire pit so I decided to add an additional 5 feet across giving them 100 square feet more of useable space. This will allow for a grilling and eating area, as well as a separate space for enjoying the heat from their new fire pit
(Nebraska is much cooler overall than down here in the South, making a heating element a must in order to use the space into the cooler times of the year!). In order to blend with their current patio, I chose a simple 16×16 #Patio Paver from Lowe’s. The pavers nearly lined up flush end to end with the current patio! That helps to reduce the number of cuts needed with a wet saw…using a wet saw will add to the difficulty level of the project and the time to install, but sometimes, it’s worth the effort in order to have your edges line up.
Note: A wet saw can be rented from a local rental equipment shop.
In order to add to the current patio, the ground would first need to be dug out to accommodate for the 2″ crushed granite bed plus the depth of the paver stone…the excess dirt will be great to back fill low spots in the yard or to spread around the huge oak…always a good idea to keep tree roots covered!
Note: Check your local quarry or stone yard to learn what your local crushed aggregate would be. The aggregate will provide a base that is easy to level and will provide adequate drainage.
Once the ground is dug out to the appropriate depth, then you’ll follow up with the crushed stone…put down a thick 2″ bed…they were lucky with a nice flat yard! (If you are working with a grade, then you’ll want to determine what is level and backfill as needed to bring low spots up.) Rake the aggregate level and use a tamper (see pictured to the left) to compact the base materials to help prevent uneven settling. Finally, it’s time to lay the pavers!!! Once the pavers are down, then you will follow-up with a coating of polymeric sand…spread it over the top of the pavers and use a broom to sweep this sand into the cracks of the pavers and finish off spraying the last little bit into the cracks with a hose. The polymeric sand will help to keep the pavers together nicely. That was Day 1 for M&M and the #Lowe’s UpSkill team – what a day!
Day 2, started out with tackling the overgrown garden. M&M did some preliminary clean up before the full crew got there to help with tilling in some additional soil amendments (manure and nutrients to ready the ground for veggies!). Then the previous barrier fence (might have been chicken wire) was replaced with chain link fence to match what they already have going around the perimeter of their yard. As well, the Lowe’s #UpSkill team showed M&M how to tie the new fence into the existing fence and install a gate wide enough to get the wheelbarrow through.
The past day and a half has been nothing short of heavy lifting, but now it’s time for the fun stuff…setting the tone with furniture and landscaping! Wife M, is a little more reserved and husband, M (hmmm, maybe calling them M&M wasn’t such a good idea), is a little more out spoken when it comes to decorating styles, so merging the two design preferences was interesting. I knew the
wife was good with the turquoise color on the fence because M (husband) liked it so I used that as my color inspiration. I found some cool patio furniture fitting to their lifestyle, comfy & colorful pillows and rug that make you want to sit and enjoy the space, and planters overflowing with perennials anchoring the corners of the space. In addition, I added splashes of light with the blue glass LED solar lights and used blue glass in the fire pit to complete the look and provide an awesome ambience in the evenings! One final design element that I failed to mention was the replacement of that pesky motion detector light mounted over the back door…thanks again to the #UpSkill Team for teaching M&M a great skill…I chose a light that blended well with the fire pit and anchoring flower planters to tie the spaces together.
Check out the completed look…great job M&M and the team from #Lowe’s #UpSkillTeam
Wanting help to tackle a space in your yard and don’t know where to start? Reach out to me and I’ll help you pull together a plan that will be functional and good looking!