Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Patio Project

The tools: 16" pavers

The dilemma: An ugly mudpit...what to do?


I can be a girly-girl to the max much of the time, but sure don't mind getting my hands dirty and working hard outside for something that needs to be done, especially when I get that vision in my head. As you can see from these pics which I've showed you before, the area under our deck in the backyard was sorely in need of some TLC. No yard of the month awards for us, this was an ugly, muddy, complete eyesore and it's been something that I've wanted to tackle ever since we moved in here over 2 years ago. I completed some gardening projects in a couple of other areas in the frontyard which also needed it desperately, so this area was next. This was the year! How could I enjoy sitting in my swing when I was surrounded by this awful sight? I'm all about beautiful things, inside and out, so this was not enjoyable to me.
Just pathetic! You can see how the mud splashes on the brick, so that will need to be scrubbed down too. Everytime I used the hose, it would create more mud and when it rained, yuck. So, plans were hatched in my head and I told my hubby that we've got to do something about this area. He agreed. I think them up and then he gets to help.

After seeing my friend, Mary's patio that her hubby built, I decided that I too could do that project. It seemed easy enough and affordable. I got out there and did the prep work, bought those edger stones and put them in place, creating my patio base. Cleaned out all the weeds and got some leveling sand to put down. Leveling sand is a good thing, you will need it when you're working with patio stones. This was after my dad came and built the lattice wall back in March and that was a great addition too. It really helped create a garden room under here.
Let's get started!
Put down some black landscape fabric which is supposed to keep those pesky weeds at bay (I hope!).
I didn't pin them down, but probably should have.
Next it was time to put down the paver stones. These things weigh a ton, but my hubby and neighbor, Grant moved them for me. That's when you need some muscle. One of my friends, Sandy, who has a truck helped me get them to my house. The girl is strong as an ox and between the two of us we got them loaded at Walmart and then home and unloaded while my hubby was out of town.
I lined them up and used a 6" board in between. You can see here that they are not perfect, but I'm not a perfectionist so it's OK and I can go back and adjust a few of them. You can actually go back and move them slightly if one is not lined up. These stones weigh at least 35 lbs. so are not fun to move around. Ordered a dumptruck load of pea gravel and we were set. This is my always helpful neighbor, 11-yr. old Grant, who loves to help out with gardening projects. He brought over his wheel barrow and wagon to help us move the pavers and pea gravel. Very sweet guy. He always shows up when I'm out doing a project and loves to help.
The guys loaded the pea gravel in the wheel barrow and brought over and I spread it all out. Just like grouting tile, I used a large broom to sweep it off the pavers and into place. I've still got to stain the new lattice to match the deck.
We got pea gravel down in about 2 hours and it's finished! Prep work was part of a day and then putting down the pavers and pea gravel was another full day. Lucky for us it isn't too hot yet, this was a great week weather wise to do this.
It looks SO good now, I'm totally happy with it. This really is an easy DIY project that will make a huge difference in an area like this. Believe it or not, this took 55 pavers. I tried to calculate, but ended up having to go back for 10 more to finish it off. Just so you know, Walmart had the best price on these.

Pavers
Landscape fabric
Border stones
Pea Gravel

Total cost for this DIY project: around $350, which is not bad to completely change the look. I'm sure if we had hired something like this out, it would have been about triple the cost.
I added some edging stones coming out from the deck stairs and around the air conditioner and added a thick layer of pea gravel here too. It was a mess before and looks so much better now.
I'll use this little area right by the steps and coming in our backgate as a planting bed and get it all cleaned up too. I'm so happy that this project is finally done. I had dreamed about it forever and now it's complete! That's a good feeling. I've got more plans for the backyard, one area at a time. Next up will probably be a walkway from the patio over to the side fence. Another day!
You can bet I'll be sipping a cold drink and reading a magazine in my swing now!

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63 friends stopped by:

Donna said...

Hi Rhoda,
It looks terrific! Doesn't it make you feel SO good when a project like that is finished?! Now enjoy!
Hugs,
Donna

Mandie said...

WOW, that looks beautiful! What a huge difference those pavers make. No more muddy mess or eyesores. It looks very professional, GOOD JOB! Now, if you have the time, I have an area under our shed that needs some attention, haha. Have a blessed day.

daisy cottage said...

AWESOME, AWESOME, AWESOME!
I wish there was another word, but this one is the best! Great vision Rhoda! I know you must be so happy with your new outdoor space! Happy swinging!
xo,
Kim

Michelle said...

Great job, Rhoda! I hope you enjoy your new patio area very much! I just love your swing, too :) Unfortunately, we don't have anywhere to put one (our porch is too small). Have a wonderful day!

~Michelle

Melissa Lewis-Off The Wall said...

That looks fabulous! You did a great job. Now can you come on over here to Tennessee and do mine?

Jenny said...

It looks great! I love the look of pea gravel. And I love your swing.

dana said...

Now THAT is impressive! I love it when a vision becomes a reality! You certainly did a fantastic job. Wish I had a strong little neighbor to help me when I am working in the yard--lucky you.

Lynne said...

That looks terrific. Now you can really enjoy the swing!

Jen said...

$350 is not bad to get out of a mud pit at all girl. Enjoy that swing with a tall glass of tea with lemon. We are getting ready to do a BIG project in our court yard.....but it will be worth it when I can sit and admire it.

BittersweetPunkin said...

Rhoda..that looks great! I am a do it yourselfer too...I know you will appreciate your new area and have fun with it!
Hugs,
Robin

Wanita said...

Very nice job! Now you can enjoy sitting on your swing in your new outdoor room. Have a blessed day.

sheila said...

you're right...that looks so good and didn't cost a small fortune :)

and now you can string up twinkle lights under there and set up a small table & chairs...a special dining area :)...

because I know with your good eye at the garage sales that you'll have that under-the-porch sale all dolled up even more pretty quickly :)

Berry Family said...

Great project! It looks fantastic. I love the swing. At our last house we had a swing and my son would fall asleep on it. There were times I would swing myself into sleepiness. hehe

Barbara Jacksier said...

Great job! Can you come over and work some magic here? I have a side of the house that needs help.

Adrienne said...

Rhoda, that looks wonderful! You did a great job with a little help from your friends. Can't wait to see what else you add to the projects. I'd love to sit in your swing, sip something cool and chat awhile. ~Adrienne~

Reynie said...

I love it! It turned out great! I love the way you document your projects with all the pictures. It's like I'm there. Give me a shovel and let me help!

Deserae said...

Wow! What a huge difference...love the patio pavers!!!I'm sure you will be spending lots of evenings on the swing :o)
~Des

Jennifer said...

What a great project. It looks great!
Smiles!

KJ said...

Rhoda, this looks fabulous and although there was sweat and toil, the ingredients were so simple! You should be very pleased! I'm sure this saved you a bundle over concrete!

Thanks for your tutorial!
KJ

PAT said...

It looks great Rhoda. I can't wait to see how you "furnish" your garden room. I know you probably have something in mind.

Pat

Sandy said...

Good Job Rhoda! Wow! What a sense of accomplishment, uh?

Lynn said...

Very nice.

Funny, we Southern girls love our swings. Don't we? I have one here in Alaska. Can't wait to get in it. Right now there's a big puddle underneath where all the snow melted. Just a couple of days and it'll be dry and I'll be "Just a Swinging."

Lord bless,
Lynn
John 15

Susie Q said...

Just such a lovely spot! I know you feel so happy to have this completed and can enjoy it!

Blessings!

Love,
Sue

Valarie said...

That looks really good. It gives me and idea for a problem area I have at my pool.

Rosie's Whimsy said...

It looks great....what a transformation! You will really enjoy that swing now....and, I bet it won't be long before we see some pots of flowers, too!

:-) Rosie

Janera said...

Great project, Rhoda! I love it!

Had to laugh at, "I think it up and he gets to help."

Sounds kinda familiar. ;-)

justabeachkat said...

Hi Rhoda

I know, I know...I'm saying it yet again...I'm playing "catch up" with my blog reading. It happens more often than I ever thought possible. But I'm not complaining though. My life is full and happy, so sometimes I get behind.

It's always fun to visit you. Your project turned out so good. Can't wait to see how you finish it up with plants, etc. The photos of your tour around the lake and your visit with Kim were fun to see.

Hugs!
Kat

Shirlee said...

It looks wonderful and I'll bet you're glad it's done before the heat of summer sets in. We have a similar project going on but unfortunately spring is getting a slow start here and we only have four blocks down on a gravel bed.
How precious is your little neighbor. I think it's wonderful that he comes over and helps. What a good kid! :)

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

Wow Rhoda ANOTHER great project and another great job completed by you!!! It looks fantastic!! You are a very "hard" work. I hope your husband realizes how truly blessed he is!!!!

Blessings,

Sher

Sher's Creative Expressions said...

hard "worker." I meant "worker" not work. Fingers don't always cooperate with me :)

Soov said...

Wow! You totally rock! What a wonderful improvement and now a place to enjoy.

Kuddos to you,
Lisa

Nancy Hood said...

love it, Rhoda! and if you can tell me whether or not you got the mud stains off I would love hearing how. We, too, live where that red stuff dyes everything! So far, I haven't been successful cleaning it off, so I hide it with landscaping :/

Donna Lynn said...

Rhoda, this turned out so wonderfully, you really have an eye for design and cool outdoor projects! You are the Queen!
Hugs,
Donna Lynn

Mary Isabella said...

This is so pretty. I know you will have many hours of summer fun here....Mary

Sue said...

Rhoda,
Wow, way to turn an unused space into a place to enjoy. Can't wait to see how you finish it off. With your creative touch I'm sure it will be lovely.
Hugs,
Sue

Catherine said...

You did a great job! I love pea gravel and am putting some on the walking paths near the woods at our house. How does the gravel hold up with the runoff from the downspout? How did it handle last night's rain? Did it wash away the gravel a little right where it comes down or did it hold well? I hope it'd not a problem. It does look very nice.

Picket said...

It turned out fantastic!! What a transformation....just wanted to come by and say I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend friend!

paintergal said...

Great new patio, Rhoda!

A Pretty Home said...

I was looking at this post on my bloglines and thought Id come over and leave a comment.
I just wanted to tell you that I love how it turned out!

Candy :)

Mrs. B said...

Hi Rhoda! Great job! It really looks nice. I laid all the bricks in a little patio we did last summer. It's kind of fun to do things like that sometimes!

Hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day weekend!

becky said...

Boy, what a change. It looks fabulous, Rhoda!

Beverly said...

Rhoda, you are a girl of many talents. This turned out great. We had one of those under deck areas to deal with, too. Ours did have a poured sidewalk, so we used pavers and a bed of hosta to finish it off.

Great job.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Rhoda,

Good job! It looks good. I do have one concern, the downspout for the rain needs to be redirected. When it rains you will have a problem with the gravel. You should beable to put an extension on the end of the downspout to direct the flow of the water away from your new patio. I know, there has always got to be "one" in the crowd!

Row. said...

Great Job! It looks awsome!

Hooked on Houses said...

Very nice! What a difference that made.

I heard there were some tornado warnings in your area yesterday. Hope everyone's okay! -Julia

Andi said...

Wow...I'm impressed Rhoda!!! That's quite a project and it turned out so nice. I just know you'll enjoy relaxing in your swing sipping a glass of cold sweet tea.

Have a great weekend.

Melissa @ The Inspired Room said...

WOW, you sure did a great job at making over that area! So amazing what a little rock, pavers and elbow grease can do!

Happy Weekend!

Auntie M said...

Hi Rhoda!

I have space just like this under my deck and would love to make it look and feel like yours. Thanks for the new vision for my old space!

Smiles,
Mary

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AuntieMs/
Highly Effective, Wonderfully Simple Home Management

Adla said...

Magnificent how it has turned out.You now have a lovely patio! Have a happy Mothers Day!

mrsjones6 said...

You have created a fabulous outdoor space! Browsing through your past post has given me so many ideas. Looking at the yard that is to be ours again in two weeks, I only hope that I can make it look half as wonderful as yours.
Have a fabulous weekend,
Jen

CIELO said...

I think it's going to look gorgeus... Have a Happy Mother's Day....

Hugs

Cielo

Katrina Chambers said...

That looks amazing! Well done!!

TinaTx said...

Wow - it looks great! Want to come to Texas (where is it HOT)and move rocks from the back yard to the front yard for me? (to line a flower bed)I'm sure they weigh at least as much if not more than those pavers.
Know you will enjoy sitting in that swing now.

The Feathered Nest said...

It really looks terriffic! No more muddy mess and what a nice place to sit in the swing and look at the rest of your yard.

Manuela

Tonja said...

Great job! It looks terrific!

OldBagNewTricks said...

What a terrific transformation... pin a little note to Grant's shirt and send him here. What a terrific job -- what a wonderful helper!!! I am stealing this idea. It looks great.

Jenny

Terri and Bob said...

It looks awesome! And, it has motivated me to give it a try! I hope you had a great Mother's Day!

Well Behaved Krissy said...

We are working towards doing something similar beside our sunroom's patio (in attempt to extend it a bit).

Curious on how much you dropped on the pea gravel?

Thanks in advance,
Krissy

Rose said...

Wow, Rhoda! That is such an attractive space now! Great plan and great job in executing it. I love that you're not afraid of getting your hands dirty, and yet you're about as pretty and feminine as they come. :-) Looking forward to seeing how you furnish your beautiful new room!

Oleg said...

Rhoda, wow!
Thanks for the how-to!
I've already recommended your blog to my wife, as we are planning to build a house, and such topics are of great interest to us :)

Cindy said...

I love how this project turned out. Don't you just *love* pea gravel? We just put some in on the side of our garage and it look so tidy and refined now.

june@craftyniche said...

Your patio looks amazing! I may try to do a nice walk way to our front porch using the pea gravel and pavers when that time comes! I'm still working on the inside of my home then it's the outside!

Jess said...

Awesome job! And the fact that you got a young helper to pitch in on the work deserves a second awesome job! Love how you took an otherwise overlooked space and made it useful. You should also show off your creativity on sites like www.instructables.com and www.yardshare.com. This would fit right in!