DIY Summer Patio Project

I’m trying to crank out a few updates on the house because I haven’t done a good job of keeping up with the posts, but this summer we’ve done so much to the yard. It really does look a whole lot better than when we started and its become a place I enjoy hanging out in as long as the flies and mosquitos aren’t bad.

What motivated us to do this was that there was this patch of dirt that wouldn’t grow grass very well right outside our dining window completely under a shady tree.  After three years of dealing with Moose’s paws being caked with mud every time it rained, we decided it would be a good idea to pave that area. Since our dining window overlooked the area, it would be nice to look at something more appealing than a mud pit as well as have a space for entertaining outside.

DSC_0984 We marked out about where we wanted to lay the pavers and then started digging to make it as level as we could.  We used the extra dirt to fill in around the foundation of our house. DSC_0990 IMG_3482DSC_0991

We were able to use some salvaged pavers from my parents house that are at least 30 years old in order to save a little money. They definitely don’t make them like that anymore. Knowing we didn’t have enough salvaged pavers to do the entire project, we made a border with them and decided to “fill it in” with new ones. Of course, the older ones had an aged patina on them and weren’t bright gray anymore.  There were some square shapes as well as rectangle. DSC_0989After making the ground as level as we could without the use of machines, we went and bought a truck load of sand to have as our base for the pavers. There is a bulk mulch and stone depot over in Plano that we’ve seen before, so we headed over there to get the sand. It was only about $40 for the amount that we needed. It wasn’t coarse paving sand, that professionals would use but more of a sandbox sand. We just wanted something soft for the pavers so they wouldn’t crack under weight.

DSC_1000 Doing the math on how long and wide we could actually make the patio, we started to lay the salvaged pavers for the border. DSC_1007 DSC_1005 DSC_1008Once we had used up all the salvaged pavers, we went to Home Depot and bought these. They were 12×12 and gray also. We thought about mixing other colors in, but then decided that required too much forethought and we didn’t want anything slowing us down.

DSC_1019 DSC_1016 DSC_1020 Once everything was laid, we took the extra sand and brushed it into the cracks with a broom. DSC_1023

DSC_1025 Clearly, you can see that the stones aren’t the same. They’re not even the same depth, which made it tricky when laying them.  I figured once we placed furniture on it, and maybe even an outdoor rug, it wouldn’t matter.DSC_1024Then came time to furnish the patio.

I wanted a seating area with chairs and an eating area for the table.

I already had 2 plastic adirondack chairs that I’ve had for years, originally purchased from a garage sale along with pillows I had found for them from Tuesday Morning. Also, since we bought a pallets worth of concrete pavers, I decided to use the pallet as a sort of foot rest/coffee table/place for my potted plants for the chair seating area. I may decide to paint or weatherproof it at some point. DSC_1025DSC_1026I went back to Home Depot and purchased 2 more chairs in a mushroom color and found pillows for them from Lowes.

DSC_0057DSC_0045DSC_0060DSC_0060We set the table up with the chairs.  You can read about the details on the table here. Later, I found some lanterns for a good price at a garage sale and bought 3 for the table to help with lighting at night.
DSC_0052I had added this plant hanger with petunias and a hummingbird feeder next to the window earlier this spring. DSC_0058 I also found these cheap lights at Big Lots that are made to look like those cafe lights that have become so popular, except instead of being a glass bulb, it is plastic over a regular christmas light bulb. I figured I’d spend a ton of money on lights and end up breaking the bulbs if I went with the cafe lights. It would be cheaper to replace these smaller bulbs versus the bigger ones also. Plus, the cheapest strand of lights I had found was at least $20 for 10 feet. These were $13 for 25 feet. Done. I originally bought one but then went back to buy one more after I realized one strand of lights wasn’t bright enough at night for what I was wanting. DSC_0059We’ve already enjoyed having friends and family out here. It’s a good spot to relax during the day or night.DSC_0021

photo 1-3

photo 2-2 Now, I very much enjoy opening up the shutters overlooking this space instead of what was there before.  photo 2-4 photo 1-4 Moose also enjoys being able to stare out the window at the people, dogs, and squirrels.IMG_3972All in all, we are very pleased with the result that didn’t have to break the bank. There are, of course, things I still want, but this is going to be enough for this year. Maybe next year we’ll get a stand alone fire pit or better chairs. I’d also like to eventually make some privacy screens for along the fence, since the street is right there.  It would also be nice for all that dirt around the patio to be filled in with rocks/gravel.

Much improved from this…


to this…


I don’t know how long it will hold up, but at least we won’t be dealing with mud as much over there.


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