We are in the process of building our very own home on our very own land and my imagination is running rampant with all the things I have wanted to do to our rentals. I have two small children and it is my dream that I can allow my children to have free access out our back door so they can play in a beautifully manicured, green lawn as often as they would like. I want a privacy fence, an outdoor kitchen, hammocks for relaxing, a vegetable garden, and the list goes on and on and on. Now I realize it will take some time to create the yard of my dreams, however I can now consider my ideas as plans instead of dreams! One of the first things I plan to do is add function to my yard with a patio made of stone pavers as well as some beauty and interest with the addition of an arbor. You can do this to your own yard with these instructions:
Step 1: Choose the site where you would like your patio to go and dig around the perimeter. You want to dig down 6 to 12 inches (you want to reach the subgrade) and tamp the full area down with a plate compactor.
Step 2: Cover the subgrade with 3 inches of 5/8-inch minus gravel. Or you can use ¾-inch crushed stone and stone dust.
Step 3: Tamp it down with the plate compactor and repeat. Dampen each layer with water to keep down the dust. The marked stakes are used to help to know what is level as you poor in the gravel.
Step 4: Lay out your perimeter blocks
With this patio two portions of the perimeter were built up so that the wall created built-in seating.
They placed unfinished cap stones on the benches of the perimeter wall which will be finished later.
Step 5: Lay down 2 inches of sand and use the plate tamper, or a hand tamper to smooth out the sand and create an even surface.
Step 6: Lines were marked in the sand to help guide the laying of pavers so they are straight.
The pavers have arrived! It’s best to order a little more than you think you will need to account for broken pavers and so you are less likely to run out before you are finished, delaying the project.
Step 7: Start setting the pavers in a pre-determined pattern.
Step 8: If you are making a curved patio like shown, you will need to use a saw to cut the last of the pavers to fit in the edges. Measure each paver, cut then place it where you want it to go before measuring the next paver that needs cut.
You can use a power saw to cut the pavers, or a wet saw, which will help reduce the amount of dust that is put in the air.
Step 9: After all the pavers are set, sweep sand into all the cracks and crevices. Or you can use polymeric sand which will help prevent weeds from growing up between the cracks but its application is a little more intricate. Make sure to follow all instructions if you go with the polymeric sand.
Step 10: Using a wet saw cut the edges of the cap stones on the benches for a cleaner look.
Step 11: When finished (make sure you followed directions if using polymeric sand) spray off your patio, allow to dry completely and then you can put on a sealant if you like the “wet look”.
Now it’s time to start on the arbor!
Step 1: Place your vertical posts!
Step 2: Plane and re-saw your wood.
Step 3: They used the vertical beams as their forms to curve the planed and re-sawed boards.
Step 4: The wood is thin and pliable and they used clamps to form it to the vertical posts.
Here is a picture of the back side of the pergola/arbor.
Step 5: Form the back side of the beam. You can also use a form on the ground to curve the wood (for both the front and back) if you don’t want to use the vertical posts.
Step 6: Lots and lots of clamps were needed to form both sides of the arbor onto the posts, in order to create the desired curve before they were secured directly to the posts. I believe they also had braces between each post as well for added support.
Step 7: Apply the cross sections of the pergola/arbor with a nail gun. You can either stain the wood before or after step 7, depending on preference. However, it may be easier to do while on the ground rather than above your head.
Step 8: Finishing touches! Touching up the stain, adding hanging baskets and lights.
Step 9: Enjoy your finished paver patio and pergola/arbor!
The instructions on the original post were almost nonexistent. So I tried to do some research along the way to make it more of a helpful DIY project. When I do this for my own backyard in the spring, I will definitely post more instructions and the do’s and don’ts I am sure I will learn along the way! I can’t wait to have my own backyard with a beautiful gathering place and I’m willing to get my hands dirty and use trial and error to get it! Putting in the hard work just helps you to appreciate the end product so much more!