Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means we’ll earn a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for supporting us.
We are coming up on a year of being homeowners and the house projects abound. Sometimes it feels overwhelming and never-ending but mostly it feels fun because we really get to make it ours. I knew Dan was handy when we started dating, but I never realized just how much this guy can do. From building out our home gym to completely redoing our dining room (I should share an official update, I just wanted to get some mirrors and art in there first but can’t seem to pull the trigger), it sometimes seems like there’s nothing this guy can’t do.
Anyway, our plan all along was to put in a patio underneath our deck, just outside our home gym this spring. The second the weather got slightly warmer, we were on it, because being outdoors really makes us happy and we couldn’t wait to create this space.
Dan put me in charge of designing it. I looked at a bunch of stone but ended up going with pavers because ultimately we want to be able to workout on the surface with our barbells and the pavers just seemed like the most durable. I chose the top left – a charcoal color with a charcoal border.
The space is about 22 x 12, and I ordered 3 inches of processed stone, 1in of sand, and all the pavers and border. The total came out to about $1500. We saved a ton of money in labor because we did it ourselves with some help from our dads.
The first step was to get everything level. Luckily, there was just dirt there, so we (Dan) dug out the entire thing and then he and my dad ran string lines across to check the level of the surface. You want it pitching away from your house about a quarter inch every four feet from your house so that the rainwater won’t sit.
The next step was to compact the dirt down. Dan’s dad is a contractor and luckily we were able to borrow his plate compactor but you could always rent one from Home Depot.
After that, you push down a mesh weed blocker, and then the processed stone. After the stone is down, you run the plate compactor over that to make sure it’s super tamped down. After that, you add the sand and start placing the pavers.
Dan did a 90 degree herringbone pattern which I absolutely love, but you can do a single or double basketweave, running brick pattern, etc – pinterest will have lots of options for patterns. The only annoying part about our pattern is that we had to cut the pavers to finish it off so we are just waiting to get those back from Dan’s dad because we don’t have a wet saw (but you can always rent one).
I was responsible for putting the pavers in the wheelbarrow and wheeling them over to Dan while he painstakingly did the pattern and then used a mallet to get them tight before hand tamping them down with a piece of foam between the pavers and the tamper. So long as the dirt and stone are tamped well, you are good to go! Then the border was last, and the only thing left to do is pop the missing half pavers in and seal it off with SuperSand Bond.
All in all, it took us about eight and a half hours total. I’m so glad we did it ourselves but our back were lit up afterwards. Luckily, we felt fine the next day. I definitely wouldn’t want to ever do that again, but I’m so proud of the work we did!