When you own a brand-new home with a blank slate backyard, it takes some elbow grease to give it that “lived-in” look.

Tom and Lauren moved into a new home, in a new development, with their son John Thomas about six months ago.

They have a blank space to fill, and Danny and Chelsea are here to help them.

Tom and Lauren’s backyard is like the other new houses on their block: bare, and waiting for some landscaping and extra living space.

    The Projects

    Excavate Grass for Patio

    Sid Sexton is a local landscaper we’ve worked with before, and he’s great at helping homeowners develop long-term plans for their property.

    In the future, when Tom and Lauren’s budget allows, Sid’s plan will specify other additions, like more trees and a raised vegetable garden.

    For now, we’re going to focus on the patio, adding some landscaping, a pergola, a swing set and string lights.

    Stakes and string mark the straight lines of the patio, but we’ll use marking paint for the curved lines of the planting beds.

    Before we start digging, we sharpen our shovels with the belt sander.

    Once we have all the soil moved to the low side of the patio, we pack it down with the plate compactor before we begin spreading the paver base.

    Danny lays Pavestone pavers for Tom and Lauren’s patio.

    Set Posts and Lay Pavers

    Once the paver base is roughly graded, we run the plate compactor again to compress it before we begin pouring in the sand.

    By the end of the first day, we’ve graded the sand over half the patio, so early on day two, we’re ready for Pavestone pavers.

    Tom and Lauren’s backyard is looking much less like a “blank slate” as the patio takes shape. Now, it’s time to add the posts for their new pergola.

    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Danny Lipford

    Danny Lipford


    Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio, TodaysHomeowner.com, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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