Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How To Make a Backyard Patio

While the interior of our new home was completely redone to the latest and greatest appliances, cabinets, etc, the exterior was not so lucky. My wife and I have already done some work on the front lawn for curb appeal, but the back yard was quite a larger task. Not only was a patio completely absent from the house-flipper's redesign, but speaking with a neighbor revealed that a previously-existing patio was completely destroyed when the basement walls had to be reinforced, causing the back yard to look a little something like this:

My wife and I really wanted a completed patio, especially since we wanted to throw our incoming housewarming party outside. Luckily, we'd planned for such renovations when saving money for the house, so all we had to do was pick a brick style, stock up on it and other essentials, and enlist the help of family and friends.
lots of bricks piled up in our garage for the patio

Once the supplies were purchased, we picked a weekend and got to work. My wife got her hands dirty by tilling the soil.
My wife tills the soil

And my father-in-law leveled the area with a mixture of rocks, then got to work setting all the stones in place. Henna kept watch.
My father-in-law dumps a load of rocks while our dog watches

We lined the stones with a frame of the very same dirt from the earlier tilling, and made sure to pack it down to prevent any shifting.
My brother and father-in-law help put the patio together

Henna got first honors of eating off the patio; she loves chewing on ice cubes so much that I gave her a whole bowl to enjoy!
My adorable dog chews on some ice from her bowl of ice cubes

After two full days of work, the last stone was finally set. All that remained was to fill in the cracks with sand and furnish the area with patio furniture, flowers, and other outdoor decorations.
My wife, my brother, and myself sit on the completed patio

We decorated both corners furthest from the house with large flower pots and wire-constructed rabbit decorations, got one hell of a deal on a beautiful table and chair set with cushions included (cushions not pictured), got a large fire pit and chairs for those chilly and/or beautiful nights when I want smores, and planted calla lilies interspersed with decorative leafy plants along the house. The only other things not pictured below would be the grill, which would go in the same place as it is pictured above, and the umbrella for the table, which matches the aqua and blue color theme of everything else.
The patio with all of its current furnishings

Everything was in place by the time the housewarming party finally rolled around. Sadly we had to set up some additional canopies in case of occasional rainfall rather than use the single table umbrella (and didn't get to fully utilize the patio for serving food and drinks), but after all was said and done we had a beautiful house with a beautiful new patio to go with it!
Party on the patio

Making our own patio allows us not only to have the final say in exactly where it is, how large it is, and what it looks like, but also gives us the pride in being able to tell our future children that we made it ourselves (with lots of help, of course), with them in mind.