Trouble Lawn Area turns into a Lovely Patio
I had a north facing lawn behind my house where the grass was reluctant to grow. Feeding and aerating it did not help it. Adding soil additives didn’t work. Then I added 3 growing kids that played hard in the back yard which made it even worse. The final straw was in adding a large dog the grass became scarce and the mud expanded.
Final I decided I was tired of the mud being tracked into the house so I decided to put in a patio. First, questions about what did our family want and need for the area needed to be answered. We wanted to be able to put a copper fire “pit,” table, and chairs. We wanted to cover the area that the grass was not growing so no more mud to be tracked into the house. We wanted the 12 inch x 12 inch paver stones to have some kind of interesting design. More cost effective. We made a plan to fill a 20 by 12 for the area with grey and red pavers. This area would have two parts a 12 by 14 area for the table and then a 10 by 10 area for the fire. There would be a little bit of combining so it still fit in the 12 by 20 and not be a boring 12 by 20 rectangle. The grey and red paver would help define each area.
Now it was time to have my family get out shovels and as a family, we tried to dig out the area so we could put sand down and put down 12 by 12 paver stones. In the digging out of the area, we found plywood and a large sheet of construction plastic. It was no wonder that the grass never grew well in the area due to having no area for a root system to grow. Then as we dug down a little, further we hit clay! It might have well been cement. Water doesn’t go through this layer well, the grass roots can’t make it through this layer, and the layer of “good soil” on top had only been 2 inches thick with construction garbage. The grass had no hope!
After digging as much as we could to get a level area for our new patio area we brought in sand. Not owning a truck makes this difficult, but paying for less than 3 cubic yards of sand to be delivered cost over $200. I drove my town and country with 3 recycle bins in the back and 4 plastic lined bins in the middle area. I took out the captain’s chairs to make room in the middle area. Two trips later, we had enough sand for the project. It cost 10 and gas for each trip. Saved myself at least $170!
We spread out the sand. Then we laid a 4 by 4 piece of plywood down on the sand, jumped on it to level, and flatten the area, a 200 lb football-playing teenager helped with this part. We used that same piece of plywood, holding it up and using one of its ends, to pull any high spots away from where we were laying the paver stones.
Even though the pavers were heavy, my kids enjoyed helping layout the pavers following the design. The final project looks great. We roast marshmallow over the fire and eat dinner outside on our new patio. There is less mud coming into the house now! We all have a great since of accomplishment. Not every one has good helpers like mine so if you need help on your next project idea look up a lawn care & landscaping company to help. Guest Blog by Tammy Eichenberger
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