Patio

My lovely wife and I decided it would be fun* to put in our own patio.  Not know what we were getting into, we designed a MONSTER patio that was over 900 sq. ft.  This became a multi-year project, but it turned out great in the end.

* = Loosest sense of the word fun you can think of.




Ground Prep.
We started the project by renting a skid steer and moving a lot of dirt out the way.  We then brought in a few truck loads of Four Eleven, smoothed it out and compacted it using a plate compacter.  (Sorry, no pics of this yet)

Bricks
The next step was to go to Unilock and purchase about 26 pallets of bricks.  The picture here shows the bricks when they were about half used up.

Steps
  
Once we had the bricks, our first step was to build some stairs going up to the back door.  As you can see, almost every single brick here had to be cut so it could fit into the rounded stair.  If you are thinking of doing this, DON'T do rounded stairs!

Main Patio
    
Once we had the stairs in place, the main patio was next on our list.  This was actually quite easy, as we didn't have to cut any bricks!  You can see in the second picture how we just laid out a bed of sand and just set the bricks on top.

Path
    
The path that led to the driveway was next on our list.  This was just time consuming, since we apparently we didn't know what a straight line was when we designed this.  I would guess more then half the bricks for this part had to be cut to fit the curve.

Raised Bed
      
On the left side of the patio, we put in a circle and wanted a raised bed around it.  This would allow us to have some privacy from our neighbors.  And to keep with the ongoing theme, almost every brick had to be cut again, since it was a circular wall.

  
We wanted to make sure we had appropriate drainage in place, so we put a drain pipe into the bed, then filled the first foot or two with large gravel.  

Back fill
    
The final piece for the patio was to raise the yard up to meet it.  The backyard had more of a slope then the patio, so there was about a foot drop off the patio to step onto the yard.  So again we called in the big trucks, and had three huge loads of dirt delivered.

Leftovers
We had extra wall bricks when we finished, so we used them to make some nice flower beds at the corners.

Landscaping
  
For the final touch, we put multiple beds in around the patio, and filled them with plants.



That concludes our patio building!  Amazing that a 3 year extravaganza can be broken down into about 20 pictures.   
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