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Do It Yourself Patios - How To Build An Easy, Low-Budget Patio or Stone Walkway

Updated on April 29, 2014

Do-It-Yourself

I am woman...hear me roar. Okay, so that was lame. But to be honest, as a single-mom for 17 years now and the purchase of a very old house, I frequently find the need to motivate myself into thinking I can do anything myself. Although not always successful at first and a much lengthier time-frame than if I were to pay a company of men to do the work, it can usually be accomplished with a bit of determination.

Just a fraction of my backyard sandbox
Just a fraction of my backyard sandbox

Sandy Yard Ideas

For those of you with sandy soil and yards, and possibly some active family dog(s)...I feel your pain. On top of that, throw in some very large lovely pine trees that prevent grass growth, and you have the perfect backyard...to enter the 'world's biggest sandbox' contest. This year was it. The year where it got so bad I nearly choked on the 'dust' that filled the air when I gave my pit bull a couple pats on the back. That's right...and he was laying on my bed at that.

Today's the day, I said. That's when i realized that turning the biggest hole the dogs had dug into a fire pit was only the beginning of solutions. (Yes, they like to dig and play in the sandbox called 'my yard'.) I picked out one of the least-expensive patio pavers that I could find at Home Depot and pulled out my relic garden tools from the garage. It was me against the sand.

What You Will Need

Yes! These are my rather 'ancient' tools that I managed with in the photo to the right. If you do not have the budget for fancy/modern garden and work tools, you can still get the job done with minimal equipment and resources.

What you will need: This is exactly the list of things I am using to put in my fire pit patio

  • Outdoor Work Gloves - for handling the stone and leveling dirt.
  • Pair of Garden Pruners - These are only necessary if you are dealing with large roots such as the Pine Tree ones in my sandy yard. I have quite the large old Pine Trees I'm dealing with, half of the reason the grass will just not grow there.
  • Long-Handled Iron Garden Rake - help to level the ground before handling pavers.
  • Bucket or Wheelbarrow - for extra dirt and unwanted roots/weeds to get rid of.
  • Long-Handled Spade - helps to shape desired dig area for each stone/paver.
  • Long-Handled Broom - for sweeping sand into the cracks and all around the paver edges.
  • Your Choice of Stone/Brick of course

This will be an improved accent to the old covered patio attached to the back garage.
This will be an improved accent to the old covered patio attached to the back garage.
My first row of pavers placed, so I could shape  the center fire pit area.
My first row of pavers placed, so I could shape the center fire pit area.

Finding Time

Time is my only big challenge right now! We are expecting a fair-weather weekend coming up...so I will be sure to update my photos and how things are coming. I picked up more of the pavers the other day, and have simply been waiting for down-time and nice weather to coincide.

More of my sand battle to follow very soon...until then, enjoy your day ~

Getting there...will be heading to Home Depot for 10 more stones on this trip.
Getting there...will be heading to Home Depot for 10 more stones on this trip.

Progression

Getting Closer to Completion...

The mismatch center fire pit bricks are my temporary fire border.

I still need to purchase one more round of pavers for the patio surface, and a choice stone for the center pit.

Hoping to complete soon as I am loving the sight of sandy area 'decreasing' in size!

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      peggy 12 months ago

      I was google searching for any articles on woman building patios by themselves, so I was happy to run across this bit of encouragement. I can not afford to pay anybody to install the 12' diameter circular patio I want in my yard to cut down on the dirt from my two dogs. Right now I have indoor/outdoor carpeting thrown down. Seriously. So... I am only 5'2" and 60 years old but... I am going to try!

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