Alright, so lets pick up where we left off with the patio. It seems strange to be writing a blog post for something we completed so long ago (do a few months count as long ago? I guess it does in my mind.) From the beginning this patio was a team effort. We have had so many great people give us a hand or two in the building of this thing. I was blown away that so many came by to help out and so thankful for amazing friends. Its been so fun to be able to host lots of cook outs and hang out nights here with them on the patio this summer. We almost feel like we have added an entire new room or living space to our house, we love it.
Ok, now lets get down to the technical - or not so technical things. Way back when, we first talked about choosing pavers, then we began with our first step of digging out the area (and let me add in again that when I say we here - I'm really talking about everyone else...I made the food and finalized plans), and that was followed by the prep work of adding gravel, screening and tamping down the surface. So we were all primed and ready to put in a patio.
Pavers - they must somehow find their way to the location you want them to lie. Pavers - are not light. Pavers - it takes a long time to move from front yard to back. Did you like my salute to Pavers? We all took many trips back and forth. I think I could do one paver at a time, maybe two if I channeled my inner hulk.
Ok, next thing was to determine our paver pattern. We bought both square pavers and bricks and wanted to use the bricks to break up the plainness of the squares. We settled with this and liked it.
Now it was just the tedious task of laying them all down, keeping them level, even and precise as possible. The technical part of this includes the fancy tools we used. Like a paint stirrer. We used them to sweep across the screening layer a time or two just to make sure everything was as even as possible. It worked like a charm. Also a level is useful for a final check.
I need to add in here that early on we decided we needed a slight incline in the patio - mainly to help with drainage during heavy rain storms. You can't even tell in its completeness that there is a slight slope at all and it has drained beautifully since its completion. I think it was a smart move. I would have hated to have puddles and mess to deal with every time it rained.
Oh, also for tools a rubber mallet came in handy for keeping the pavers tight and crisp.
Silas and Mike had the task of double checking for any loose or wobbly pavers. We had a few that just didn't meet our standards of levelness so they walked and jumped around and smoothed out anything that felt wobbly or uneven.
And it seems Mark had to do some of that too.
This is a staged shot, I know seems so "real life" right? This is the moment of the final paver placement - a wonderful feeling for everyone.
But wait, there is more! Something has to hold all of this together and that's when Paver Set comes in.
According to its package Paver set is:
Polymeric Sand Paver Set is specially formulated for the filling of paver joints. It is specially mixed with polymers to harden yet remain flexible. It reduces weed growth but will not crack with weather-related ground movement.
We quickly began dumping it on, then felt like we didn't have enough and then ran to the store and bought way too much. I guess its better to have too much then not enough? Luckily it was returnable. So we just used a broom to sweep and fill the paver set into all of the little cracks. By the way, have you been to the hardware store to buy a broom lately? I was totally on broom overload and had no idea which one to get. Luckily Justin knew.
There was a lot of sweeping involved.
Final thing to do - lightly spray the surface to seal everything in. It starting bubbling like crazy and we got a little nervous about the bubbles. There was a warning on the label about the bubbles leaving a stain (that we of course noticed after we started) so this turned into a two person job of spraying and sweeping. In the end, there was no way to get every little bubble thankfully and it did not stain or mark the pavers in any way that we could tell. We were relieved.
Whew, we couldn't wait to get our furniture on the patio and start relaxing.
Its all old stuff we already had but I still like it. I feel like the new patio makes everything look pretty anyway.
Ok, so now we need a quick reminder of how this backyard used to look...
I can't end on that picture. I think we have come a long way...
So final thoughts... It was a lot of work, took a lot of help, was a lot of fun to do and completely worth it. We have enjoyed so many great hours out here already.
Tomorrow I'll try to get in some detailed shots and also fill you in on some more backyard updates we have been working on plus some future plans. Sometimes its the little things that really bring it all together.
Have a wonderful day!