Welcome to Part Two of my DIY Patio series. The idea of making a patio seems hard, but I promise you it's actually relatively simple to DIY yourself. I recently revealed our DIY Front porch we created out of pavers and pea gravel, you can see how our simple DIY porch turned out here. Today I'm going to share how to DIY a Concrete Paver + Pea Gravel Patio, our material list which was very short and how we did it.
The materials for this project other than the wheelbarrow, and shovels I used are really simple.
- Metal Rake
- Metal Stakes
- Landscape String
- Scrap piece of 2 x 4
- Angle Grinder
- Concrete Blade
How to grade the ground
The ground in this area was really hard, I used a metal rake to break up the top layer of dirt. Once I did that, I used metal stakes I bought from the Hardware store + twine to set the slant I wanted. I made sure the slant was right by using a level lightly set on top of the string
I used a scrap piece of 2x4 about 4 feet long as a giant level to push the dirt and spread it out. Once I got the dirt to where I thought it was gradually sloped, I double checked it with my 3 foot long level to make sure the slope was consistent in the area. THEN I got the dirt damp and used a big dirt tamper to compact the dirt.
You want to keep this layer of your patio as hard as possible, so you don't want to break up the dirt too much. The layer you are going to lay next is your sand which isn't as hard or able to be compacted so the first layer of your ground is really the most important to get right.
After I prepped the dirt I decided to do a layer of landscape fabric to fight against weeds. We originally took out gravel that was in this area of our yard because weeding it was IMPOSSIBLE. Weeds aren't supposed to be able to grow in sand... but I wanted to double make sure.
Second step to your DIY paver patio
The next layer in this equation is your sand. You can buy sand substrate that is specifically for pavers, but it was really expensive and I was trying to do this on a budget. I ended up ordering 1 of these giant bags of sand and had it delivered. 1 bag was enough for my 12x12 patio area.
After you get your sand into your area use that handy 2 x 4 and spread it out evenly throughout the area. Once again use your level to make sure your slope is still in tact.
Laying Your Pavers
I went back and forth on which side to start when laying my pavers. I decided to start closest to the walkway and work my way back, in retrospect I may choose on starting from the back corner front. My pavers kept going crooked because I was walking on them, but I think if I started on the back forward my sand would have gotten all misshaped too. I'll let you weigh the pros and cons yourself. I just kind of eye balled the spaces between pavers. It's not perfect but also, this patio is pretty generous when complete.
How to cut pavers
Inevitably, you will need to cut some pavers around your edges. We used an angle grinder with a special blade that can cut through concrete. It was surprisingly easy to do.
Now you get to see the whole space come together, I used pea gravel between my pavers. It took about 12 bags for this area. once you empty the bags, make sure you rinse them off with a hose because they are really dirty fresh out of the bag. I packed them in pretty tight between my pavers to help keep them in place. After a couple weeks of pretty solid use by my children, my pavers have stayed in place very well. So it worked!
How much product did it take?
All in all, I spent under $400 for this patio. I used about 100 pavers and 12 bags of pea pebbles for this 12 x 12 area.
Now you can add some cute furniture to your new patio space + enjoy! This is by far our family's new favorite hang out, it's our little way of adding a front porch when our house doesn't physically have a front porch.