2008/2009 DIY Backyard Patio Project (Part 1- Planning and Design)

This is my 2008/09 DIY Backyard Patio Project which includes details of my patio designs, photos, layouts, ideas, tips and costs.

After living in my house for several years without doing any renovations, I had decided to get off my lazy ass and do my first major home renovation. With a long and unending to do list, I decided to start with one of the hardest projects - to build a patio in my backyard.

I wanted a patio that had a natural stone look. If I had the cash, I would have done patterned concrete, but unfortunately it was way too expensive for my little wallet. Interlocking bricks is nice and allows for many creative patterns to be created, but it didn't have the natural stone look that I was looking for. Then I found a product by Hanson (formerly Navastone) called StoneTile Tuscanni. They have paving slabs that have a natural stone look and comes in various sizes which is good for creating different patterns. They had a Cappuccino colour which I thought would look great with the brick colour of my house and the price was reasonable. I will provide more details in my multi-part DIY Patio article. Feel free to leave a comment.

Special thanks goes to Uncle Denny, Uncle Van, Uncle Patrick, Chicklet, Jube Jube, Chi Chi and Moi Moi.

Also checkout the other 5 parts of my patio project by scrolling to the bottom of this list.


retroman80s | 2008-10-22 11:17:14 PM | 33282 views
Requirements and Planning
  • Use paver slabs that has a natural stone look

  • Use High Performance Bedding (HPB)

    Instead of using gavel and limestone for the patio bedding, I've decided to try something different which is called High Performance Bedding aka HPB. It basically looks like smooth rounded gravel with no sand. When you lay it down, it's suppose to be 95% compacted, therefore there's no need to rent a compactor. I will post a close up picture of the HPB in a later article.

  • To complete the patio before winter

  • Compensate for the slope by building a retaining wall

  • Dig about 6 inches deep and fill it with gavel for the base

  • Buy, borrow and rent tools

  • Patio must slope away from house

  • Find helpers aka friends and families

  • Add low voltage lighting system [TODO 2009]

  • Plant a tree [TODO 2009]

  • Install a gazebo [TODO 2009]

  • Add a lamp post [TODO 2009]

  • Build or buy a fire pit [Nice to have]

    I've called up the city to find out the fire pit bylaw. They basically said that the fire pit has to be 50 feet away from any house or fence. This means that if I installed a fire pit, it would be in my neighbors backyard since my backyard is small. Oh well, there goes that idea.

  • A waterfall with a pond [Nice to have]

Designs Patterns
    Layout #1

    Layout #2

    Layout #3 (WINNER)

    This was the layout that I've decided to go with. The patio main area is 32 feet wide by 14 feet which works out to an area 448 sq ft.

3D Design Using Google SketchUp
    Design Version 1.0

    This was my first 3D design using the free Google SketchUp. There is a bit of a learning curve trying to use this program, but there are training tutorials and videos you can read and watch on Google SketchUp's website. What's also cool about this program is that you can download pre-drawn model objects from Google 3D Warehouse all for free. Some examples include BBQ, different types of trees, buildings, cars, beds, chairs, HDTV and more

    Design Version 1.5

    I wanted to add some more features, so I decided to add a planter box for a tree. The reason that I wanted to put the planter box over to the right side of the patio is because it will provide some shade in the afternoon for the air condition and windows. Also I will be adding a couple of low voltage spotlight pointing at the tree.
    The other thing I wanted to add was a lamp post, this will give my backyard and patio more character and lighting in the evenings.


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