Monday, May 5, 2014

DIY: Creating A Patio

I’ve been bitten, bruised, and scratched…I might have even smashed a finger or two.

Despite the pain, multiple trips to Lowe’s for extra sand (100 bags total, thank you), and hours put into this project, it’s finally complete and I can honestly say that I love it my new patio!

Was it easy? Definitely not. Would I do it again on my own? Probably not. However, the patio is finished and I can look on it with the satisfaction of knowing it’s something I’ll be able to enjoy in the years to come!

How did I put this patio together on my own? In FIVE EASY STEPS. (Catch the sarcasm there??)

(6) Patio DIY

Word to the wise….if you see anything at a hardware store that says the word “EASY” on it, they are probably LYING.

We came across these Brock Paver Base pieces in Lowe’s last year. This patio project is actually a completion of our “backyard improvements” from last Spring. Prior to this patio project, I also placed 2 layer of stone under the deck to keep grass away and for visual enhancement of the area.

After reading the paver base box and watching a Youtube video on the process (isn’t that the way to do it?), we set out to purchase supplies for the patio.

Patio DIY

After returning home, we cut the top layer of grass from the area first.

(2) Patio DIY

Then we began the real work – which was a lot more tedious than I originally realized.

After laying and packing sand, we placed a paver base on top, followed by a brick. This is the part where the project became tricky – the bricks tended to wobble, no matter how level the sand read on the leveler.

I once spent over an hour trying to level out one brick alone – hence the reason I almost gave this project up last Sunday. I even debated having someone come in and pour concrete instead, but changed my mind – even stamped concrete designs didn’t give me what I was looking for here.

(14) Patio DIY

Did I mention this project was a dirty one? Cause it was. My gloves have a lot of holes in them now!

(4) Patio DIY

Here you can see the layers better – weed paper, paver sand, paver base, brick.

(3) Patio DIY

We reached this point after several days of work. Whew.  (By the way, my yard slopes, so does the deck, so does the patio…that’s on purpose).

I finally completed the patio last night! Here’s the finishing touches…

(8) Patio DIY

After laying out the stone, I placed restraints at the edges to hold in the joint sand and help the stone stay in place. 

(9) Patio DIY

Ready for joint sand!

(7) Patio DIY

This sounded easy enough – probably the easiest part of the project – pour, sweep, spray.

(10) Patio DIY

We bought JUST enough sand, too. I’m telling you, if I had to stop and go back to Lowe’s for another bucket of joint sand, I was not going to be a happy camper.

(11) Patio DIY


(12) Patio DIY


(13) Patio DIY

Here’s a photo of the completed patio this morning! (No walking on it for 24 hours.)

I can honestly say this was one of the hardest and most tedious things I’ve ever done. I almost said I would rather go through nursing school all over again before re-attempting this project, but  I changed my mind – I don’t think anything in my life has been/will be as tough as nursing school!

I’m so glad it’s complete and I’m thrilled with the outcome! We can’t wait have a BBQ and enjoy the new patio with family and friends. Who wants an invite? :)

What are your thoughts on DIY? Would you attempt  it?


  1. Your patio looks absolutely beautiful! Congrats on getting the job done and not giving up. My husband has done alot of DIY projects and in fact we put in a flagstone patio at our home in New Hampshire. It was much more work than anticipated, just like you found out. The leveling part is just so tedious.

  2. Wow!~ You made that look so easy! Impressive!

  3. This looks beautiful Karen! We had a patio built a few years ago, and still after putting the joint sand in and doing the "sealing" process, we are still getting moss growing between the bricks. Some people like that look, but that's not what we wanted, so we pain sakingly pick it out by hand. What did you all put down so nothing grows up between the crack? Just curious as I have bought so many sprays and nothing has worked.

  4. It looks really great! I start DIY projects all enthusiastic, then at about the middle, I'm ready to give it up. I can completely relate. Sometimes it's hard to keep plugging away, but in this case, you got a fantastic result!

  5. All the hard work has totally paid off. It is beautiful!!

  6. That's so awesome! Congrats on getting it finished, even though it was a pain in the butt =) When I have my own house, I plan to do a lot of stuff on my own, because then it can be exactly how I want it.

  7. It looks gorgeous!! You all did a great job! I love the idea of doing DYI stuff, even though it does sound tedious and slightly frustrating. :0)

  8. Great job Karen! It looks beautiful. We do a lot of DIY projects (and then sometimes regret them, lol).

  9. Hi, I came across your page after googling Brock Paver Base. Your patio looks great. I am actually going to start working on mine this weekend and was hoping you could answer a few questions.

    You mentioned your yard/patio slopes, how did you go about leveling/sloping the ground before laying the weed fabric down? I have read others putting leveling sand on top of Brock Paver Baser before setting the pavers, your thoughts?

  10. I would have assumed that each of those patio tiles was individual. It is really neat to see that they are in groups of five or six. That could save a lot of time when laying down the patio bricks.

  11. Your patio looks great! How has this held up for you? Would you recommend the brick paver base?

    1. It's held up great! Still looks the same! :)

    2. Hi Karen, just came across your diy project. How is the brock holding up? I just layed down my pavers and i also have wobbling. How did u correct that issue?

    3. Hi there! I attempted to correct the wobbling as I went along with the project. We've been using the patio for several years now and all of the pavers/stones have held up nicely. I haven't had any issues with needing to correct or fix any wobbling! :) Hope that helps!

  12. I have the same question as above. How has your patio held up with Brock paver Base? I am planning to use it myself for backyard patio.

    1. Yes it's held up great! No problems here! :)

    2. How did you correct your paver wobble?

  13. Hi Karen, We'll done, beautiful patio. I'm considering using the Brock panels and I live in the Midwest where we can get heavy snow, freezing temps,and rain. I'm curious how the panels wouls do in those conditions. Do you get weather like that where you are?

  14. i impressed by the quality of information on this website. there are a lot of good resource here. i am sure i will visit this place again soon.

  15. Really nice work! I can tell you from experience that if you choose traditional method (DIY without machinery), the "Easy" that they stated on the box is true.

  16. Did edge restraint and poly sand take care of paver wobble? I'm about to throw in the towel!

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  22. That's so inspirational. The project looks great. My house has huge amounts of outdoor brickwork that came with the place, along with several piles of leftover bricks. I'll revisit this post for some motivation to finally get to it!

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