In this episode of “Today’s Homeowner,” a Kentucky couple gets a whole new look for their backyard thanks to a few days’ work and a big stack of pavers.
Every year we re-invent someone’s patio, courtesy of The Backyard Paradise Contest sponsored by Pavestone. This year’s winner is from Lexington, Kentucky. Walt Arnett and his wife Beth share this home with their dog, Pinky.
Before a design can be created, Chris Clare from Pavestone surveys the site to see exactly what we have to work with.
The next morning as the trucks begin unloading out front, we get busy clearing the old patio in the back…
But there are some plants that will have to be removed.
Besides removing this shrub, there’s also some pruning to do on the trees around the patio and a section of fence to remove so we can get heavy equipment into the backyard.
Right now, it looks rough but it’s about to look a lot better.
As Chis and I talk with the crew foreman, Bobby, we see some changes that need to be made because the “L” shaped planting bed around the tree will take away square footage from the patio.
Once the obstacles are removed, the guys check the elevation to decide how much soil needs to be removed for the extended patio. Then they mark the location for the fireplace and begin digging an even deeper foundation to support it.
While the crushed gravel paver base is being loaded into the patio space, the guys are also busy building two of those “L” shaped retaining walls. The first will create a planting bed around the tree and the second will establish a lower level of the patio in front of the garage door.
For this to work, the elevation of the paver base and the retaining wall blocks must line up just right.
By the end of the day, all of the patio is laid except for the cuts around the edges and the crew begins putting down the first few layers of the fireplace so the adhesive can dry before they continue the next morning.
It would be a very full day though because there are hundreds and hundreds of these block to put in place. While the crew is busy with that, Chelsea and Walt remove the garage door and begin prepping it for paint.
Walt and Beth’s patio makeover is well underway. The pavers that have to be cut around the edges are going in one by one and the edging is being installed on the outer perimeter. Meanwhile, the stacked stone fireplace is nearing completion — with a little help from Walt.
In no time at all the guys have the wing wall finished so they can begin cleaning up the mess that goes along with a project of this size. That means replacing some of the dirt we moved out around the patio so we have a blank slate for our landscaping.
Once the new plants are in place we surround them in the beds with a layer of mulch and soon after that we are ready to lay sod to return the lawn to normal. Then we can begin moving Beth and Walt’s stuff back onto the new patio.
When Walt and Beth first entered this contest their patio was tiny, plain and slightly dysfunctional. After a few days’ work, there are a few dozen plants and a few thousand pavers.
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