This week we’re helping a blended family expand their patio to better meet their needs. 

Eric and Corrina love spending time outdoors with their children, but their patio space just wasn’t enough to make their family feel together during “get-togethers”

Their grill is separated from the main seating area, and Corrina’s container plants make the limited patio space feel cluttered.

Pea gravel is an excellent alternative to pavers for expanding patio space.

Expand Patio with Pea Gravel

To double the size of this patio without using concrete or pavers, we use pea gravel. 

The existing patio is slanted downward away from the home for drainage, so with our pea gravel landing, we can make it almost level with the ground. The pea gravel will hold the drainage water well. Plus, the water will be moving slowly, so it will prevent any erosion.

This plastic edging will keep our pea gravel in place.

First, we lay plastic edging to frame our expanded patio area. This plastic edging is usually used with pavers, but we’re switching it up to work with our pea gravel. The smooth ridge will keep the pea gravel in place so it won’t spill out into the yard. 

We use a mallet to drive landscaping spikes into the edging to keep it in place. 

Once the edging is in place, we fill the space with Pavestone paver base and tamp it down.

We then sprinkle the pea gravel across the paver base so we can create a uniform surface. The pea gravel is part of the decorative feature of this patio, so we don’t want to rush it.  

Once we have an even spread of pea gravel, we tamp it down into the paver base.

This combination planter bench provides sitting space for people and plants!

Build Plant Shelf Bench

To create more seating and also more space for Corrina’s plants, we build a custom plant shelf bench.

The bench is constructed like a regular wood bench, but we add a shelf to the back for container plants.

Retractable screen doors neatly tuck away when not in use.

Install Retractable Screen Door

Our solution to Eric’s aversion to bugs is installing a retractable screen door from Wizard Screens on the French doors.

Retractable screen doors mount to the side of a door frame with a track at the top and bottom to guide the rolled screen. The screen door can be pulled out to allow fresh air into your home when needed, and then rolled back out of the way when not in use.

These screens keep mosquitoes away without obstructing the outside view.

Vertical wood slats add more privacy than lattice.

Replace Lattice

The jasmine growing around the lattice on the patio no longer needs the lattice for support, so we replace it with vertical wood slats to add more visual appeal and privacy. 

We also:

  • Cleaned existing patio tiles
  • Replaced the ceiling fan and light fixture
  • Diverted the downspouts away from the patio
  • Planted flowering plants near the house from Southern Patio

Now, there’s room for all on this expanded patio!

Post-Production Thoughts

Eric and Corrina’s backyard is beautifully accented with all kinds of plants. But they couldn’t fully enjoy it because their patio was cramped and cluttered, to the point that the grill had to be moved out into the yard. They rarely opened the french doors because it invited in the bugs, and everything was a little dated.

But now, we’ve doubled the size of their patio with a unique drainable surface. Plus, we maximized the space by relocating Corrina’s container plants to a new combination bench and plant shelf. More shelves on the wall display the smaller pots and the new vertical slat trellis provides privacy and support for Corrina’s jasmine vine. 

Plus, Eric and Corrina can enjoy their patio from the inside  “mosquito-free” thanks to their new retractable screen. 

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Products Featured in This Episode

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Further Reading

Editorial Contributors
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,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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