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Our new patio is finally done!

June 22, 2010

We had contemplated adding a patio under our deck for a while, and finally decided to to it this summer.  A very special thank you to my dad, the master of all building projects, who graciously helped us with this project.  He was even here just a couple of days after having surgery, when he should have been home resting.  And, also, thanks to my cousin, Andrew, who provided a lot of the manual labor.  (It was good exercise for his off-season for wrestling.)  And, of course, thanks to my wonderful husband for all of his hard work, even with a bum elbow.

The whole project took months of small steps.  There were many days of digging, a large setback with the drainage pipe, many loads of gravel, and many changes and additions along the way.  The footprint of the patio kept growing as we went along.

Here are the before and after pictures.

Before

After

Here are the construction photos, starting from the beginning.

We tore up the existing concrete pad in front of the garage walk-out door, so that it would match with the new concrete.  We could have used a jackhammer, but instead used Andrew!  Then we recycled the concrete by grounding it up further to use as gravel.

There was a LOT of digging to do to make everything level, even though there was only a slight incline on one side, and to dig down to allow room for the gravel and concrete.  I think it was 6″ total.  My dad is directing the action here, as he had just had surgery.

Next, while digging, we ran into the drainage pipe.  This was lucky, as we’d had problems with our driveway drain backing up in heavy rain and have flooded twice into the basement and garage.  So, we ended up digging extra to uncover the rest of the pipe to replace.   This was quite a project in itself and delayed the patio part a little.  But, we were glad to get this done.  This stage was not fun because it was a mud pit and it was raining constantly and Kali liked to eat the mud and track it inside.

Then, we replaced the 4″ drainage pipe with 6″ plastic pipe.  The plan later is to come out on the other side of the patio and make it Y off into several pipes to give the water more drainage area.

Next, we covered up the pipe and finished digging.  Then, the forms were put in and we put the gravel down.  It took about 6 or more loads of gravel.

Then, we put wire mesh on top of the gravel.  And, put rebar into the brick and an expansion joint between the brick and where the concrete will go.

Then, we ordered the concrete and had it delivered.

Here comes the concrete…

Here are the concrete finishers working on it.

And, finally we have a patio!  We ordered a dry pigment to be mixed into the concrete so I wouldn’t have to stain it.  It’s a little lighter and grayer than I expected.  It was supposed to be more taupe.  Oh well, it still looks good.

Now I have to figure out how to hide the ugly electrical boxes and get some furniture.

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  • Gary Saunders

    You make it sound so quick and smooth! I cannot say enough of how hard Erick and Andrew worked to make this happen while I recuperated for a few weeks. I think you all will really enjoy this new outdoor space. I might also add that I really did enjoy thgis project even though it was hard work.

  • Spur123

    We found drainage pipes too! Should we get rid of it? Or replace it?