Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sure, I can do that, can't I?

So I'm reconsidering the whole patio/deck project.At the moment, I'm considering trying my hand at installing a brick or paver patio myself. I've read a few books on the topic, and it seems like it's not technically all that hard, although I'll likely need to rent a tamper (or whatever they call the thing that pounds the ground flat and level). I can do this, right? I'd situate the patio right in front of where I'd like the new door, and it can wait until I feel more flush (if ever).

Both the house across the street from me and the house next door are being renovated, and I'm feeling that my place looks a little, well, shabby. There used to be a front porch across the whole house, but it was enclosed a long time ago. Now, half of the old porch is part of my bedroom, which doubled its size, and half of it is just an enclosed entryway, shown on the left of the picture with the three windows.

My house has no curb appeal. There are so many cute houses with porches in my neighborhood that I'm thinking maybe I'll get an estimate to have someone open up that area into a front porch again. There are a couple of houses in the neighborhood where they've done the same thing, so I'll take some pics with my new camera (c'mon, get here!) and have those to show whoever does the project.

One nice thing about this set up is that I'm thinking of having them cut another opening in this new porch wall, and put steps in to the yard (on the far side of the house that you can't see in this picture). If I use a couple of folding gates, I can have my dream of just opening the door and letting the dog out into the yard - score!

But I need to get on this patio thing before it gets too hot. Any words of wisdom?


  1. Hi, Liz here again, Jordan's sister. We did our own patio last summer. We did compressed crushed granite. I doubt that the same solution would address your needs though. We did consider doing pavers, but I just couldn't fine any style paver that I really liked. But we also had to rent and use one of those tamper machines. It was HEAVY. It took two men to unload it from the SUV and to load it back up again. Actually operating could probably be done by anyone, but lifting it was the problem.

    We chose to do the granite because we wanted to do something ourselves, we wanted cheap, wanted something that wouldn't be too difficult to change (because I haven't really 100% committed to what size/shape I wanted the patio and felt like I just couldn't make a permanent decision), and I liked the look - kind of a European casual country (but unfortunately messed up and chose the wrong style edging which kind of ruins the look I wanted). I'm trying to get various thyme and similar plants to get established and grow over the edging. Downsides: it is painful to walk on barefoot, it does require some maintenance - yanking out some weeds, adding some additional gravel and tamping down where the gravel sinks (due to too much water), raking off dead leaves. I think it's better than pea gravel though.

  2. I've done some stuff without the tamper and I say it makes a lot of difference. All of my stuff has settled unevenly. If you're going to do it, its worth that extra bit of time and effort to look good next year and the year after and the day after it rains a lot...

  3. Thanks all, for the input. Good to know about the importance of the tamper. I didn't know about the crushed granite before this. Interesting.


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.