Creating a Backyard Paradise

Danny Lipford at completed backyard makeover project.
Danny Lipford with Herndon family at the completed backyard makeover project.

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We’re turning a backyard that had been damaged by a tornado into a restful retreat with an arbor and bench for relaxing and a paver patio and fireplace that’s perfect for cooking out and outdoor entertaining.

Outdoor Fireplace

Constructing outdoor paver fireplace.
Constructing paver fireplace.

We started by excavating the foundation for the outdoor fireplace kit from Pavestone, which will make a great focal point for the paver patio. Once the dirt had been removed, a form was constructed to hold the concrete in place.

A layer of gravel was then put down in the form and compacted. A grid of steel rebar was cut and wired together to provide reinforcement. Quikrete Fast-Setting Concrete Mix was mixed in a wheelbarrow and poured for the fireplace foundation.

Once the concrete had set, the fireplace pavers were put in place and held together by a bead of polyurethane adhesive between each layer. The kit includes a metal firebox and flue, with the pavers built up around them.

Completed outdoor paver fireplace.
Completed outdoor paver fireplace.

Paver Patio

The first step in constructing the Pavestone paver patio was excavating the soil to the right depth. A plate compactor was used to compress the soil, followed by a layer of crushed limestone.

After the limestone base had been leveled with a screed, the compactor was used to compress it. A layer of premoistened paver sand was spread over the limestone base and screeded off using two pieces of electrical conduit pipe as a guide.

The outside border of pavers was installed first, followed by a random pattern of pavers. A planter was also constructed from pavers at one end of the patio.

To find out more, watch our videos on:

Completed paver patio with planter beds.
Completed paver patio with planter beds.

Wood Arbor and Bench

Wood arbor with bench.
Wood arbor with bench.

To provide a restful retreat, an arbor and bench were constructed of pressure treated wood, following plans from YellaWood.

Holes were dug for the posts, and the arbor was set in place and leveled. The holes around the arbor posts were then filled with concrete, and the bench positioned under it.

To complete our backyard makeover, flowers were planted in the paver planter and Quicklawn grass seed, which sprouts in just a few days, was spread on the lawn.

Watch our video on How to Build a Backyard Arbor Swing to find out more.

Other Tips from This Episode

Homemade Flashlight Stand

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Homemade Flashlight Stand

To make a flashlight easier to position when tackling home improvement projects in an attic or under a sink, cut a piece of electrical wire about 2’ long and wrap the wire around the flashlight. Next, bend each end of the wire to form legs that allow you to stand the flashlight up and point the light where it’s needed. (Watch Video)

Ryobi 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Combo Drill/Driver Kit

Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Ryobi Lithium-Ion Combo Kit

The Ryobi 18-Volt ONE+ drill and impact driver combo kit now includes new and improved lithium-ion batteries that are lighter, hold a charge longer, and provide 20% more runtime than NiCd batteries. The batteries charge in half an hour on the included IntelliPort charger. The Ryobi lithium-ion drill/driver combo kit is available at The Home Depot. (Watch Video)

Cleaning vinyl siding

Ask Danny Lipford:
Painting Vinyl Siding

Before painting vinyl siding, clean it thoroughly with TSP (trisodium phosphate) and a stiff scrub brush. Next, prime the vinyl siding using a bonding primer, or an exterior primer with a bonding primer additive. Once the primer has dried, apply two coats of quality, exterior, acrylic latex paint. (Watch Video)



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