Favorite FindsMarch 17, 2014

Prep for Spring: My Patio Project

Spring is supposed to begin in a couple of days- it certainly doesn’t feel like it here.  It’s still flipping freezing and hope is waning in these parts.  But as the snow melts (and we pray we don’t get any more) I can start thinking about outdoor living again!!!  In the warmer months I spend as much time as humanely possible outside, it just makes me happier.  So when we bought our house I knew I HAD to get a patio installed sooner rather than later. Luckily, we did to get to design and install a fabulous one last summer thanks to the fine folks at Quikrete ,Pavestone  and Chris Miller Brick Paving.  If you are thinking of adding a patio or re-doing one at your home this spring I thought a little step by step may be helpful!


We have a long narrow yard, but after living in the city for years it felt like a farm to us. 

1. Product arrives!  Yay!  Site preparation – level patio area and remove any tree roots, stumps, or anything you may find (there’s more on this whole process in my book because it was kind of hilarious/dramatic.)   The fun part of excavating any area new to you is you NEVER know what you might find!

2. Lay down QUIKRETE HardScapes Base Sand and make it level so the pavers have a level surface to be placed.  Note: slope patio away from any structures for drainage. This protects your basement from water problems which we ALL want to avoid! You’ve seen Property Brothers- wet basements are a HUGE bummer.

3. Place the pavers on the level surface. I used the Venetian Stone™ Combo 80mm in charcoal and in 4 different sizes to achieve a slightly more “natural stone” look.  The grey color is great and works nicely with the classic New England style of our house.

4. The pattern, while seemingly random, needed to follow the design so it seemed random.  Follow your plans and the pattern plans to make sure the repeat looks it’s best!  It’s a OCD person’s dream to figure out and perfect this puzzle!
5. Make sure blocks are tight together.

6. Pour and sweep in QUIKRETE HardScapes Polymeric Jointing Sand – this product is so great because it joins the blocks together to keep out insects and grass growth, while remaining flexible to give with the freeze thaw cycles throughout the year. Unless you live somewhere that is always warm where you don;t have to worry about such things,  in which case I congratulate you for being so smart.

7. Pound it in with a tamper to make sure it fills the depth of the joints.
8. Spray with a fine water mist to activate to polymers in the jointing sand. As a side note, I also recommend wetting some samples of  pavers when deciding which to use as color changes dramatically when wet and you want to like it both dry and wet!
9. Build up lower beds, retaining walls and borders where needed.  I used RumbleStone™ Large Block in charcoal to build several risen planter areas to really make the patio feel surrounded by plantings.  Secure stacked stones with QUIKRETE Construction Adhesive.
10. Voila!  A complete patio that will last for a very long time in a few days!  And because this product is so durable (it can be used for driveways, walkways, you name it) the maintenance is easy!
We also designed and added a small deck/stairs and decorative trellis and lattices for climbing roses to grow on!  And when we do our addition this area will look even BETTER!
By the way, I am still obsessed with my IKEA patio chairs!
I love entertaining on summer evenings out here.  It’s so perfect!
Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 6.14.39 PM
Oliver knows we really did all this for he and Baxter though. Of course.

If you plan on doing something like this yourself Pavestone has many how-to guides on their site as well as Quikrete.  Tune in this spring when we start our addition too as I plan on using a different product of theirs to do a lovely new retaining wall in our widened driveway (I know, it doesn’t sound like sexy stuff, but after living with a too narrow driveway for this long it’s the thing I’m most excited about!!!!)

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Photos by Sarah Winchester Photography


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