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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

diy patio expansion

We have had a busy summer here in Colorado, and because of that, not a lot of projects have happened.  And even worse, the projects that we have done haven't been posted to this blog of mine.

So, let's rewind all the way back to June when we decided enough was enough with our teeny patio. It's about 10' x 11' and with our patio set, i t just wasn't cutting it.
 After going over a million options: building a deck, having more concrete poured, ripping it all out and building a new patio all out of pavers, etc., we were struggling to find a good, affordable solution.

See, we wanted something to spruce up this area, but neither one of us is crazy about being out in the heat.  I tend to get heat exhaustion pretty quickly, even when drinking the proper amount of water, so my outside time in summer is limited. This meant that for now we would hold off on any large and expensive projects and picked up 24 of these 16" x 16" stepping stones to create a border around the existing patio.
We also picked up bags of gravel and sand for the paver base.  On install day, we got up early and dug a 6"  deep trench around the existing patio: 3" for gravel, 1" for sand, and 2" for the stones themselves.  The digging itself was definitely the hardest part of this process, and making it level was the worst.  We had to take a lot of breaks and I tried to work in the shade most of the time to not get heat exhaustion.
 Next, we laid our 3 inches of gravel....Matthew would pick up a large bag, open it up and dump it out into the trench, then I spread it out. It was a good system.
Wasn't our grass beautiful?  #sarcasm 

It looks much better now, I promise!
After we laid the gravel, we started laying the sand and pavers when we realized our my miscalculations about the size of the stones and how many would fit on the side farthest from the house.  Basically, we had a 12" section leftover on this end and no stone to fill that spot.  So, I got frustrated and forgot to take pictures. Blog Fail.  After laying all the rest of the stones, we found a quick fix with two 8"x 12" red stones to fill the space.  
I'm glad we found a temporary solution, but I do not love how this looks.  To me, it just looks unfinished and messy...like it's very obvious a mistake was made.  So now, I"m just trying to find someone to cut one of the large stones down by 4" so that I can fit it into that space for a more uniform look
Except for the temporary red stone, I love how this turned out.  For a relatively small cost, we expanded our patio's square footage by over 30 square feet, and you can actually pull your chair out from the table and keep it on the patio.

We also lucked out at the Target lawn and garden clearance section...we scored that $105 umbrella for only $30 and each of those woven planters with the boxwoods were only $10 each! I love boxwoods...
 The patio is so much better with this small change, and it's definitely better to look at than the plain slab we had before.
 At the moment, our grill is sitting on the rocks next to the house, but we plan to pick up about 6-8 more stones to create a platform for this. Hopefully we will get to it while it's still grilling season this year!
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