Our New Paver Patio Install
It’s finally summer! One of our big projects on the list for this year was to do a new back deck. We had started talking about it last fall. Our old deck was 40 years old had warped and rotted terribly and we were at the point we had no other choice. Since we had a double graduation party planned this year, it was good incentive to finally get it done. For a while we had planned on another wood deck, but once lumber prices soared we actually decided we would do a new paver patio install instead. We never thought stone would be cheaper than wood. After doing some competitive pricing, and getting lots of quotes, we settled on a company and the total ended up being about $8700 for our 14 ft x 22 ft patio that included materials and labor. That also included deepening the swale next to the patio and adding a step.
We had two challenges; the first was that our yard is graded so that the deck actually sat above the height of the yard making a slight slope a challenge, and there was a 4 x 4 paver pad that already existed. And once the new patio went in, there would actually be about a 6-8 inch drop from the yard. We originally thought we could just have a gentle slope from the existing pad to the old patio. Once the deck was down, and we saw how dramatic the drop was, we had to shift gears and ended up adding a stone step.We wanted to keep the existing pad since changing that would increase our cost. Of course now we had to match it color-wise to our existing paver patio and paver pad, which was just as important so it didn’t look like such a weird add on. So the question was how do we match an existing patio to a new paver patio that was going to be new stone sandwiched between two existing brick areas? ( You can see all about the patio design in tomorrow’s post.).
(FYI, For about two hot seconds we had the crazy thought we would do it ourselves to save money, but that quickly went out the window when we realized it was such a big job. It was just better to pay some one else to do it, especially since we were under a graduation party time crunch. We are so glad we did,The guys did a fabulous job and saved our backs and lots of fighting.).
Taking down the deck itself was a huge task on it’s own. Once they started lifting the boards we saw the carpenter ant nest and we’re so glad that we decided to now get rid of it. We did not want those in the house! The other issue is that at one point this house had an old common brick patio underneath. We knew it had been there and had used some of the bricks to make a sidewalk years ago. We thought we had used most of them and didn’t realized it was as big as it had been, and there were about a gazillion bricks under the deck. Obviously the home owners at the time decided it wasn’t worth removing them when they built the deck, just threw down a vapor barrier and went over the top. It was worth every penny to have the patio installers remove all of that debris (we did save many of the good bricks for smaller projects around the yard.)
And, I don’t know how the deck had shifted so badly because they had so much concrete in the post holes, getting those out alone was a huge task.
The other issue with our new patio paver install was once the old deck came up, we found an old part of a stoop in a different part of the back of the house. So obviously at one point either our slider wasn’t originally there, and the back door was moved (which would make sense for a house of this age.), or they had planned on putting a door there and they never put it there. It all had to be removed. Believe me, all of that demo was worth every penny.
After we got the necessary permit for the new paver patio install, it took them about a week and a half to excavate, and then install the compacted stone layers and then the patio stones. We held our breath everyday for good weather. They had to hand dig since our backyard was so tight to get into. I felt really bad for the poor guys in 90° heat and we made sure we supplied them with lots of Gatorade and water. After they excavated they put down the paver base, and then laid the stones.
I did feel a little bad. Those large stones had to weigh about 100 pounds each. It took two of them to lift each stone. I can’t wait to show you more about the new patio paver design and styling in the next few posts. The only thing we have left to complete is the wood step by the back door. I want to do a more platform style step with planters one each side of the door. The carpenter isn’t available until end of summer, so for now we have a temporary step in place.