Yard Transformation – The Continuation

We really lucked out with the lot size in our townhouse, but it does come with some interesting challenges. It’s been a work in progress from day one and I’m learning something new with every passing year.

Initially we started with quotes from contractors and the process was disheartening. We were looking for a job to be done and we had a 5 week window to get it done. (We were hosting a BBQ and wanted to have space to hold everyone) We received two quotes for a wood deck that were reasonable ~ $4900 for a 20×22 ft deck.

We really wanted to use patio slabs, however we were unable to find a contractor to work with our timelines. One tip that I learned is that if you go to a material supply store that a contractor would use, they generally have a pool of contractors cards on the front desk. Since the wood deck was not what we wanted we sat/slept on it for a night and the next day, I’m not sure what came over me but a light bulb went off. That great idea was that I can do this!!

Disclaimer: I am not a professional so here are some useful links (Wood Deck, Stone Patio) resources I found online. I also had lots of help, consultation and tool rental, having the right tools and friends are a must!

So here are the details of this project,

Size: 20×22

Depth of fill to remove: 4 – 5″

Modestly leveled soil was compacted naturally over the years

Bedding (HPB) not tamped

Grade to be away from the home

Make your measurements, markings and double checkΒ  your math.

Once my drawings were done I started to make the calls to coordinate the work.

Let it be known that my final layout did not resemble the drawing. The drawing was really a vision and as I worked through it I found a better layout. Being in the moment and seeing the vision while piecing it together was worth the experience!

So the overall process looks something like this

  1. Design
  2. Materials
  3. Mark and set perimeter
  4. Remove fill soil
  5. Lay landscaping fabric and drainage
  6. Fill 4-6″ with HPB
  7. Level and grade
  8. (TAMP) I skipped this step, let you know how it looks in a year
  9. Place slabs, over and over and over again

I also had a down spout that I trenched and piped to another location in the yard. There was also a swale that I more or less filled so it’s more level with the patio. In the swale I added a 4″ pipe entrenched and perforated it 1/4 sections of the pipe for drainage. So far it’s all working out great!

Any suggestions for next years addition?

What are you planning for your own DIY or professional reno?

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